Frankie Edgar’s retirement fight didn’t go according to plan at UFC 281 on Saturday night, suffering a brutal first round KO loss via a knee strike against Chris Gutierrez and a few days later he’s still coming to terms with it.
“Obviously, (I’m) heartbroken,” Edgar said on ‘The Champ and the Tramp’ podcast. “That’s not the way I wanted it to go, but that’s the way it goes. I had a great week, awesome week out there. It was incredible, the love I got from everybody. The UFC gave me love, the little video that they did. From my peers, my peers are the most important. … I was zooming in the back. I felt like I was on in the back. I go out there and boom. Obviously, you saw it. Everybody saw it.”
“It f-cking sucks but how can I complain, to be honest? People were cheering my name the whole time before, during, after. I worked hard to get where I got, like f-cking hard, very hard. I sacrificed a lot in my life. I put my all into my athletic career since Day 1, but who am I to complain? There are people out there who work hard and they just make it by. I know both sides of that. I’m just trying to be grateful for what I accomplished, for the ride I had.”
The 41-year-old Edgar had also been KO’d in his previous two fights against Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera, so it was always going to be a risky move to step back into the Octagon, especially against a fighter in Gutierrez who was on the rise after seven fights in a row.
Nonetheless, Edgar went out on his shield and the truth was that he had nothing left to prove anyway, having already been a lightweight champion with three successful title defenses to his name during a successful career that ends with an overall record of 24-11-1.