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Adam Roberts 7th Apr 2010 - 15:43

UFC 112 - BJ Penn v Frankie Edgar - Lightweight Championship Fight

The UFC Lightweight Championship title fight sees the best lightweight fighter in the world, 'The Prodigy' BJ Penn (15-5-1), face tough New Jersey wrestler Frankie 'The Answer' Edgar (11-1).

BJ Penn 1/7 Vs Frankie Edgar 4/1

Penn is a legend in MMA, and is one of only two men in UFC history to hold a title at two different weights, sharing that record with Randy Couture. He has defeated several top level opponents such as former UFC champions Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Jens Pulver and Sean Sherk and former Pride Champion Takanori Gomi. Moving up in weight, he was able to take the current UFC Light-Heavyweight champ, Lyoto Machida to a decision. He won the lightweight championship at UFC 80, defeating Joe Stevenson, before beating Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez to defend the belt. The Hawaiian was the first non-Brazilian to win the black belt division of the Brazilian World Championship in 2000, after only three years of training. Penn has dangerous boxing and strikes and defeated both Sherk and Sanchez by technical knockouts.

Edgar has fought seven times in the Octagon since his debut at UFC 67 in 2007, only losing once. He is regarded as a very exciting fighter and has been awarded fight of the night honours for his victories over Tyson Griffin, Matt Veach and Hermes Franca. Perhaps his most impressive victory though was his display against former champion Sean Sherk, where he outworked and out-boxed his bigger opponent to take a unanimous decision. The only loss in his career was to another wrestler, Gray Maynard, who used a significant size advantage to dictate the fight, taking it to the judges.

A focused BJ Penn is a strong favourite to retain his title. For many years critics questioned Penn's work ethic and his fitness, stating that he relied too heavily on his natural talents. This led to defeats to Matt Hughes and George St. Pierre in the welterweight division. Now though a fully dedicated and fit Penn, fighting in his natural weight class, is one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Under a new fitness coach he has looked outstanding in defending his crown. Before this change Edgar would have had the edge in his work rate and pushed the champion to his limit. Recent displays against top fighters Florian and Sanchez suggest that is a thing of the past and Edgar will have to have the fight of his life to take the belt.


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