That was outside the Octagon. Inside of it, he wasn’t given a chance of upsetting Penn. But that’s why they fight the fights, and Edgar and his team left no stone unturned in training camp. And when the bout began, Edgar immediately made it clear that he didn’t show up for a paycheck. Round after round, he baffled “The Prodigy” with his striking, movement and grappling. At the end of five rounds, it was a close fight, but Edgar was confident he had done enough to win the championship. It wasn’t the first time he had been in this situation, and previously, he had fallen short. He didn’t need another disappointment.

“In my past career I came up short so many times – super close,” Edgar said. “And you really don’t deserve anything; you get what you get, but I did deserve, I think, to win those titles when I prepared the correct way and put my heart and soul into it, and I felt the same way in fighting and I still do today, but I almost didn’t think it was gonna happen.” 

Then Bruce Buffer took the microphone.

“When I heard the first scorecard was five to none, I was like, ‘That’s gotta be me. There’s no way I lost every round, it’s gotta be me.’” 

Edgar laughs, and it was him. The final scores read 50-45, 48-47 and 49-46. “The Answer” was a world champion.

“I fell to my knees and I was pretty emotional,” said Edgar, who, in that moment, knew exactly what he had been working for his whole life. “I always said in wrestling, too, wrestling sucks, cutting weight sucks. In fighting, getting punched sucks, but that crowd going crazy and getting your hand raised, that makes everything worth it. When that happens, it’s not all for naught. I didn’t waste my life doing something where I didn’t achieve the goal I was going for. So finally, I achieved the goal.”

Subsequently, life did change for a young man who went on to become one of the best fighters of his era. But Edgar didn’t change. That’s rare, but it’s a testament to his character.