Frankie Edgar has confirmed that he plans to retire after UFC 281. But the former lightweight champion knows all too well that there are plenty of opportunities for prize fighters to earn money after retirement.
It sounds like he wants to follow in the footsteps of Floyd Mayweather who has taken part in a series of highly lucrative exhibition boxing matches. Edgar even has a potential opponent in mind and at the UFC 281 media day he said,
“This is my last UFC fight, my last MMA fight for sure. Most likely, 100% it’s my last fight. But, if there’s some boxing out there, if Manny Pacquiao wants to do an exhibition, I know he’s doing exhibitions now. I can be open to something crazy like that. But it would have to be a really, really good one.”
— MMA Junkie (@MMAJunkie) November 10, 2022
Edgar would probably present more of a challenge to Pacquiao than DK Yoo. The Korean YouTuber and self styled martial arts guru is facing the Filipino in an exhibition boxing match on December 11th in Seoul.
This bout has received very little attention outside of the Philippines and Korea. An exhibition match between Edgar and Pacquiao would have much more international appeal because the former is a star in his own right.
Edgar held the UFC lightweight title from 2010 until 2012. He holds wins over the likes of BJ Penn, Charles Oliveira, Urijah Faber and Cub Swanson and has challenged for the featherweight title no fewer than three times.
"Legacy is for other people to decide. I just know I put 100% into what I do."
— UFC News (@UFCNews) November 9, 2022
Edgar is taking on fellow New Jersey native Chris Gutiérrez in the final fight of his MMA career. His opponent is coming off a spectacular stoppage win over Danaa Batgerel at UFC Columbus.
There is a ten year age gap between the two men who will both be expected to bring plenty of fans to Madison Square Garden, which is just up the road from their hometown.
Despite having seven wins and a draw from his last eight fights Gutiérrez remains unranked. Meanwhile Edgar sits at #12, so there is plenty at stake for his opponent.
Edgar has nothing but pride to fight for, as well as the potential of a cash bonus. But the 41 year old is determined to leave the UFC on a high note and told the media that he is,
“Going to lay it all on the line and get my hand raised.”
Regardless of the result Edgar plans to retire. But in modern combat sport that is rarely a permanent state of affairs and he is already thinking about exhibition boxing matches, with Manny Pacquiao very much on his mind.