Frankie Edgar may not be a household name around Clarion University like Kurt Angle and John Calipari are, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t be. Edgar was a four-time qualifier for Nationals during his time at Clarion in the 141-weight class between 2001 and 2005.
Edgar, a New Jersey native, didn’t take the same route as Angle, but instead decided to take his talents in the direction of Mixed Martial Arts.
“In the beginning, I didn’t think it was a realistic possibility for me,” Edgar said. “I wrestled, but never fought. They didn’t have a 155 division at first.“
Edgar appeared on the MTV show “True Life: I’m a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter” and appeared on “Ultimate Fighter” on Spike. Despite not getting a contract right away from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Edgar knew he wanted to continue chasing his dream.
While looking over his options and the different companies, UFC boss Dana White gave Edgar a call to offer him a contract.
“I knew I was going to get into the sport, just didn’t know with what company,” Edgar said. “UFC is like the NFL. It’s the best possible outcome for me.”
In his time in the UFC, Edgar quickly made a name for himself and rose through the rankings in the lightweight division; thanks to an unforgettable debut match with Tyson Griffin. Edgar won the UFC lightweight championship and joined his good friend Georges St-Pierre as the second person to ever beat B.J. Penn twice.
“It’s wild. It’s a testament to the hard work and team I have around me,” Edgar said. “If you work hard enough and want bad enough, you can get it.”
Edgar looked to make history on Saturday Feb. 2, when he faced the welterweight champion Jose Aldo. Edgar, or “The Answer” as he’s known as throughout the circuit, looked to become just the third fighter in UFC history to win two titles in two different weight classes. Like a lot of his matches, the decision came down to the judges. This time however, Edgar found himself on the wrong side of the decision.
When asked if it was his biggest match ever, Edgar said his biggest match hasn’t happened yet.
“The biggest match is always your next match. That’s my approach,” Edgar said. “For me, I put a lot of significance in my fights. I always want to win the next one.”
As for his time at Clarion, the 31-year-old Edgar said he has to explain to people where he went to school because they had never heard of it before. Despite its small feel, Edgar loved his time here.
“I loved the community aspect of it and the small-town feel,” Edgar said. “I come from the Jersey shore, so it’s a nice change.”
While Edgar said his best memory of his time at Clarion was winning the EWLs at Tippin Gymnasium, there’s something about Clarion he misses just a little bit more.
“I’m really missing those Dew Drop Inn wings,” Edgar said with a laugh. “I could go for some of those.”
Edgar said his time on the mats at Clarion taught him a lot and prepared him for the real world.
“Competing in wrestling in general teaches you a lot in life that other sports can’t. Being a student athlete, as well, taught me time management,” Edgar said. “The classroom and mats prepared me now with media and the responsibilities that come along with those.”
Whether a wrestler or just a student, Edgar said it’s only four years so make sure to live it to the fullest.
“Enjoy it and make the most of it. Whether on the mats or in the classroom, have fun,” Edgar said. “Once real life hits, the pressure builds.”
Photo Credits: Frankie Edgar