UFC veteran Frankie Edgar has spoken on the impact of the flying knee KO he suffered to Cory Sandhagen last weekend, saying that he had no recollection of who he had fought or how long he had been preparing for the contest.
Edgar suffered the third defeat in his last four fights against surging bantamweight contender Sandhagen at the UFC’s event in Las Vegas on Saturday but perhaps more worrying than the career setback the former lightweight champion suffered in the Octagon was the impact of it afterwards.
Edgar detailed to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that he had to ask his coaching team afterwards the identity of the opponent who defeated him less than 30 seconds into the first round – and once he was told, Edgar says that he couldn’t even recall training or being booked to take part in the fight, adding further weight to the ongoing debate of head injuries in contact sports such as mixed martial arts.
“It’s part of the game; I’m going to share it,” Edgar announced. “It’s not something I’m proud of, obviously. Some people may think it’s scary, but I’ve dealt with this kind of thing before, and if you’re in the fight game, you’ve probably heard these stories before.
“I was in the back. I remember sitting around the doctor, [coaches Mark Henry and Ricardo Almeida] were next to me, and I’m like, ‘Damn, Mark. What happened?’ He’s like, ‘You fought.’ And I just couldn’t remember who the f-ck fought. I’m like, ‘Who’d I fight?’
“And he said, ‘Sandhagen.’ And I’m trying to remember training for the guy and I could not remember training for him. I was like, ‘Since when was I supposed to fight him?’ And he’s like, ‘F*cking two months. We’ve been training for two months.‘”
Wow, this shit is scary. Time to retire and look after his health. Another KO or two might damage his brain way too much
— MKKM🃏 (@SliceOfM) February 11, 2021
Man, I hate hearing a guy like Frankie talk like this. So hard not to worry for him, but even harder not to respect him even more for speaking so candidly about something so devastating.
— Sam O (@SamOakley3) February 11, 2021
Edgar continued, saying that when he was asked to confirm what date it was he answered first with ‘September’ and then with ‘December’ but said that his memory began to return while he was on the way to hospital for a cat scan.
“I remember the warm-up; I even remember the first 20 seconds of the fight,” Edgar said. “This is what I’ve been doing my whole life. I understand the risk.“
The result of the fight indicates a worrying trend for Edgar who had never lost inside the distance in the first 14 years of his professional career. However, since 2018 he has been finished by Chan Sung Jung, Brian Ortega and now Sandhagen.
Edgar’s downturn in results caught the eye of reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who told RT Sport that he believes the veteran American fighter should consider retirement.
“Of course, I feel for him. Sometimes I just put myself in his place – to get knocked out like this, especially when your kids can see it – and his kids are 7-8 years old, do wrestling themselves, they even compete already – that’s tough,” said Khabib.
“Your age doesn’t care about your name. When the game gets ahead of you, you should just stop.”
However, Edgar remains upbeat as to his future inside the cage and says that he isn’t considering retirement – at least not yet.
“I don’t want to be the guy that someone has to tell that I need to walk away, but it may take that” he said. “I don’t know. The type of person I am, it may take my coaches and my wife to be like, ‘Oh, it’s time to walk away.’ I just know that time is not now. And I feel like they know that time is not now.”