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Edgar, back in the underdog role, was given little chance of unseating Penn in their championship bout, mainly because “The Prodigy” was fresh from two dominating finishes of Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez. And Edgar knew that to win, it wasn’t going to be due to a flash knockout or submission, but by walking the tightrope of a perfect fight for 25 minutes.

“You can’t go into a fight with BJ Penn and say you’re gonna stop him because you’ll totally mess yourself up mentally,” he said. “So I went into that fight knowing that I’m gonna have to fight five hard rounds, stay active, and execute my gameplan.”

He did just that, using movement and quick striking to keep Penn off balance, and throwing in a couple quick takedowns for good measure. It was a career-defining performance when he needed it, and when the judges rendered their verdict, there was a new champion in town, and his name was Frankie Edgar.

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