One of the most beloved boxers in the sport’s recent history is Arturo Gatti, a hard-nosed, humble former champion perhaps best remembered for his classic clashes with Micky Ward. While UFC champion Frankie Edgar may not share Gatti’s penchant for partying outside of the ring, the talented lightweight certainly exhibits a number of the fan-favorite’s characteristics including a drive that won’t allow him to quit unless forced to by physical limitations.
“It’s an honor to be compared to Gatti in the sense of toughness, putting on exciting fights and representing Jersey,” said Edgar in an interview with the UFC’s website promoting his title-defense tomorrow night against Benson Henderson at UFC 144.
“I’ve been to a couple of Gatti fights myself and I was always a big fan of his, but I don’t want to be known as the guy that could take a punch because that means you’re getting hit too much. I’d rather be known as the guy that’s dominant and smart and finds ways to win,” Edgar chuckled. “But again, if I get praised for being tough, that’s something I welcome too.”
As far as the fortitude he’s become known for, Edgar elaborated in saying he never goes into a fight looking for the kind of incredible comeback he made against Gray Maynard on two separate occasions but is always ready for one to unfold.
“Every fight I would love to get them out of there in 30 seconds and make it a nice, easy day but that just doesn’t seem how it works for me and I never prepare for that,” explained Edgar. “I always prepare for the drag ‘em out wars because you gotta expect that. If you go in there expecting it to be a quick fight and it doesn’t happen, you can kinda get blindsided.”
“I’m expecting a war, I know how tough he is, I know he brings a hellacious pace, and he wants it,” Edgar offered on his opponent. “This is the UFC title we’re talking about. No one’s gonna walk into this fight not wanting this badly, because I know how I was when I was a challenger, so I gotta approach it as a champion ready for a hungry kid.”
Fans can catch Edgar-Henderson at 10:00 PM EST tomorrow night with preliminary pairings on Facebook/FX starting a few hours earlier.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC