Frankie Edgar will return to the Octagon for one last fight against Chris Gutierrez at UFC 281 on November 12th at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Edgar, who will turn 41 later this month, had been out of action for the past year as he contemplated his future in the sport following a troubling 2021 campaign that had seen him suffer back-to-back knockout losses against two leading bantamweight contenders in Cory Sandhagen and Marlon Vera.
And that wasn’t the first sign that time was starting to catch up with the former lightweight champion as he’d never been stopped by strikes in his entire career up until 2018 when he was KO’d in the first round by Brian Ortega, followed a year later by another first round defeat, this time by TKO against ‘The Korean Zombie’.
As such, after his front kick KO loss against Vera in November of last year, Edgar admitted that it could have been his last fight. However, he took time to assess his options and ultimately has decided to have his final swan song be at MSG, which is close to the New Jersey native’s heart, having helped play his part in the UFC’s long-running campaign to legalize the sport in New York City.
Edgar won’t be getting a fellow big name veteran for his retirement fight though as he’s instead been paired up against the 31-year-old Gutierrez, who has been quietly compiling a strong run in the 135lb ranks.
Gutierrez lost in his UFC debut against Roani Barcelos back in 2018, but since then he’s gone unbeaten with six wins and a draw.
The former Bellator, WSOF and LFA fighter remains unranked at this time however as he’s not really had a big name win to hang his hat on, with his recent victories having come against the likes of Andre Ewell, Felipe Colares and most recently Danaa Batgerel.
So this is a big step up in competition for Gutierrez against one of the best known fighters in the lighter weight classes, but it’s also a big opportunity to make a name for himself in a high profile fight.
Edgar vs. Gutierrez joins a UFC 281 card that will be headlined by a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Alex Pereira, a women’s strawweight title bout between Carla Esparza and Zhang Weili set as the co-main event.