UFC lightweight champion Frankie "The Answer" Edgar prepares to defend his title against Ben Henderson on Saturday, Feb. 25, at UFC 144, live from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and airing on Pay-Per-View.
Edgar is one of the most consistent fighters in the UFC—so much so that we are hearing whispers on certain MMA fansites that he may be setting himself up to hold two UFC titles at the same time—if the organization will allow him to attempt such a feat.
"It's definitely intriguing," says Edgar. "I hear that stuff, too. Who wouldn't want to be able to hold two belts at once? I don't even know if the UFC would allow something like that. I could make 145 [pound weight limit], it's no secret. I guess maybe we'll play with that idea in the future and see what the UFC wants for me."
But first up, Edgar will have to take out Henderson at UFC 144. STACK spoke with Edgar as he put the finishing touches on his training. Here's Part 1 of our Q&A:
STACK: You won the UFC lightweight title in Abu Dhabi, and you're facing Ben Henderson in Japan. What are the challenges of fighting overseas?
Edgar: You're not fighting in your home country, so you have to worry about travel, the time change, stuff like that. You just have to prepare for it. I'm going down early to get acclimated to the time difference. And in a foreign land, you'll be eating foreign food. I'm kind of fortunate, I don't have to cut too much weight, so I don't think that'll be too much of a problem.
STACK: Are you a picky eater? Are you all right eating Japanese food right up until the fight?
Edgar: Yeah, I'm cool. I'm not a picky eater and I got a strong stomach. I'm going to be with some guys who have been over in Japan, too, so I'm sure they'll show me the ropes. I also train with Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida, and they've been to Japan numerous times. Ricardo will be with me in my corner, so I've got a lot of people to guide me in the right direction.
STACK: This is the first UFC card in Japan since Zuffa bought the company. What does that mean to you?
Edgar: It's the first UFC under the Zuffa banner in Japan. It's great. Japan is pretty much the land of martial arts. You can trace pretty much every martial art back to Japan. The media, the fans, they appreciate the arts, and they understand it, too. They're not just looking for knockouts—they're into all the technical aspects of the fight. It's nice to be appreciated in that aspect.
STACK: In terms of pure training, how have your workouts changed as you've progressed in your sport?
Edgar: They're more specific. I've been an athlete my whole life. You learn to train not only harder, but smarter. I'm not just wrestling; I'm doing boxing, wrestling, jiu jitsu. Even my strength and conditioning has gotten better. You don't just go in and do work. You have to be smart about it. We use a lot of different tools, like the suspension trainer from TRX. I've had some issues with my back in the past, had back surgery when I was 18, so that always kind of haunts me. The suspension trainer lets me really use my core. It comes in handy, I can travel with it.
Check back on the STACK Blog later this week for Part 2 of our Q&A with Edgar. UFC 144, live from Japan, airs on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 10 p.m. EST. And for more on Edgar's training tool of choice, read up on the TRX Suspension Trainer.
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