Just weeks after Jose Aldo confirmed his retirement from mixed martial arts, another icon of the lighter weight classes is soon to step away from the cage.
Frankie Edgar, the former UFC lightweight champion who holds wins in three separate weight divisions throughout a career which began in 2005, will hang up his 4oz gloves after taking on the 18-4 Boston featherweight Chris Gutiérrez at UFC 281 in Madison Square Garden — a fight which will take place a short hop from the Toms River native’s New Jersey hometown.
It will be Edgar’s third appearance inside the world’s most famous combat sports arena after defeating Jeremy Stephens at the first UFC event held inside the Garden in November 2016, and his first fight since he was viciously knocked out by Marlon Vera in the same venue last November.
Edgar has been a mainstay towards the top of UFC cards since he made his debut for the organisation in a Fight of the Year contender against Tyson Griffin in February 2007. He would go on to win the UFC lightweight title from the previously dominant champion BJ Penn, and defended it against the same fighter just four months later.
He next took on Gray Maynard in a pair of outstanding fights in 2011 (after Maynard won their first meeting in 2008) before losing his crown to Benson Henderson. He would later unsuccessfully challenge for the UFC featherweight title on three occasions (Jose Aldo x2 and Max Holloway).
His most recent win came in August 2020 against Pedro Munhoz.
Boston’s Gutiérrez will provide stern opposition, given that he is unbeaten in the UFC since he lost his debut fight on a finale card of The Ultimate Fighter series in late 2018, and hasn’t lost in the seven fights which have followed.
UFC 281 takes place on November 12 and is scheduled to be headlined by a middleweight title clash between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira.