Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar headlines 2024 UFC Hall of Fame class

A contender in three different UFC divisions over a memorable 17-year pro career, former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was announced on Saturday as the first member of the UFC Hall of Fame’s 2024 class.

Edgar (24-11-1), who retires from the Octagon for good at the end of 2022, was in attendance at UFC 297 in Toronto when broadcaster Jon Anik broke the news during the broadcast. The 42-year-old native of Toms River, New Jersey, will officially enter the “Modern Wing” of the Hall of Fame during the UFC’s annual induction ceremony in Las Vegas this summer.

“Frankie Edgar is one of the greatest athletes in UFC history,” UFC CEO Dana White said in a statement. “Frankie had an amazing career and consistently competed against the best athletes in the world in multiple weight classes for over 15 years. He is a legend, and it is an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame as part of the International Fight “There will be talk.” This summer week.”

The UFC defines a “modern era” category, which includes athletes who turned professional on or after November 17, 2000, when the first UFC event was held under the unified rules of MMA. Fighters must be at least 35, or have been retired for a year or more.

Edgar’s biggest moment came at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi in 2010 when he scored the first of three victories over fellow future Hall of Famer BJ Penn to capture the lightweight title. Although Edgar lost the title in his fourth defense against Benson Henderson in 2012, “The Answer” redefined his legacy by missing weight twice, still remaining an elite title contender in his late 30s .

Along with his trilogy against Penn, Edgar scored memorable wins against many top names including Urijah Faber, Charles Oliveira, Sean Sherk, Yair Rodriguez, Cub Swanson and Hermes Franca. But most longtime fight fans will point to his all-action trilogy against Gray Maynard, where Edgar went 1-1-1, as the best representation of Edgar’s true fighting spirit.

Edgar’s rematch with Maynard at UFC 125, which ended in a split draw to earn Fight of the Year honors in 2011, saw the 5-foot-6 spark plug rise from a series of devastating knockdowns in Round 1, Which was only to rally behind his trademark chin. And flexibility.

During his 30 visits to the Octagon, Edgar maintained his reputation as a fan-friendly fighter by receiving 11 post-fight bonuses. Yet, it was Edgar’s longevity and consistency that fueled his legacy as a formidable force, overcoming any questions his critics had about size or age along the way.

No stranger to the UFC record books, Edgar currently ranks second in total Octagon time (7:57:10) and second in Fight of the Night bonuses (8). He ranks third in most significant strikes (1,801) and sixth in both takedowns landed (73) and championship fight time (3:38:54).

Edgar also has the best significant defense (71.8%) in lightweight history and was one of the first UFC fighters to bring elite boxing skills and head movement into the Octagon.

A former NCAA Division I national qualifier in collegiate wrestling at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Edgar still lives in his hometown with his wife, Renee, and three children.

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