Frankie Edgar went against odds and defeated Pedro Munhoz in the headliner of UFC on ESPN 15. The veteran scored a split decision win in his bantamweight debut.
Two judges scored in Edgar’s (24-8-1 MMA, 18-8-1 UFC) favor, 48-47, while the one who gave the advantage to Munhoz (18-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) scored 46-49. Many were surprised by the difference in such a close fight. Judge Sal D’Amato, who gave the edge to Munhoz, had him winning all the rounds but the second.
The bout started furiously, with Munhoz shaking Edgar after one leg kick. However, the former lightweight champ responded with his boxing skills, tearing apart the rival’s stance. The two exchanged massive strikes at the end of the round, with Edgar losing his mouthpiece at one point. As time went by, the 38-year old used his boxing more and more, slowly hurting Munhoz, whose face began to show signs of damage.
That would last until the third round once Munhoz stopped Edgar’s initiative, starting to chop his lead leg with constant hard hits, which would eventually slow down the American, and create massive problems for him. After the fight ended, Edgar had to be transferred to the hospital because of it. Both guys had their moments in the next three rounds, especially in the last one, once they put it all on the table.
It is fair to say that neither Edgar nor Munhoz deserved to lose this one, as they really looked well and sharp. Both guys weren’t inferior in the ring, and each time one of them created some initiative, the other would respond.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 23, 2020
For Munhoz, this loss is a massive setback. He was seen as a promising contender, and now with two straight losses, the Brazilian would need to wait for some time before he receives a call for a title-eliminator. Aljamain Sterling trashed him in the previous match, and now he had another blow.
Edgar was in the hole, with three defeats in the previous four matches. The last one against the Korean Zombie was really painful, a TKO after 3:18 of the first round. Bantamweight debut was kind of a turning point in his long-lasting career, opening a chance for him to have at least one more shot at the title, this time against Petr Yan.
The next UFC event is in seven days’ time, with the main fight between Anthony Smith and Aleksandar Rakic.