Frankie Edgar has no problems going to the ends of the world to compete for the UFC.

“The Answer” claimed the lightweight title from B.J. Penn in Abu Dhabi back in 2010. Now, he will head to Japan to defend his 155-pound title against Ben Henderson at UFC 144 in early 2012.

For Edgar, the opportunity to compete where MMA first got its start was something he could not pass up

“I’m excited to go over there just because the Japanese fan base is going to be pretty cool,” said Edgar, in an interview with HeavyMMA. “PRIDE was huge over there, MMA’s huge – it’s the birthplace of martial arts. So what better place to defend your title than there?”

He also believes that the Japanese MMA fans will embrace him, saying, “I think they really appreciate the fighting spirit. I bring it every time I fight, so I think they’ll appreciate that.”

Edgar is 14-1-1 in his career including nine wins in the UFC. The 30-year old was most recently seen putting an emphatic statement on his trilogy of fights with Gray Maynard earlier this year, stopping “The Bully” with a fourth round TKO at UFC 136.

Comparably, Henderson is coming off a victory over Clay Guida that earned him a shot at Edgar’s gold. “Smooth” is 3-0 in the Octagon since transitioning over from WEC.


MMATraining Take: Edgar’s style and attitude will almost certainly be appreciated by Japanese fans who understand/enjoy ground-work, as well as the notion of a hard-working undersized underdog. UFC 144 will definitely be a hard card for the promotion to top in 2012.