Since then, it’s been a painful waiting game, and if you know what a gym rat Edgar is, waiting isn’t something he takes well to. But he does admit that letting his body rest and heal was ultimately a good thing.
“I missed sparring, I missed competing with the guys and hanging out with them,” he said. “It was refreshing having this time away and not being able to spar because I’m always getting ready for fights or helping someone, and sparring gets tough because I’m sparring some pretty good guys. So having this time off made me miss it a lot, and I think it was a little bit of a wakeup call to realize that this can go away, so I need to still have fun while we’re doing this.”
And there’s nothing more fun for Edgar than getting another chance to test himself against another elite fighter…and to do so against the odds. So while Holloway is the favorite, Edgar’s focus remains unchanged.
“I’ve been training for this guy for quite a long time and I feel like every time I watch him fight, he’s just getting better,” Edgar said of Holloway. “It’s daunting sometimes thinking about it, but it’s also motivating because this is the reason why I fight, I think. You know I’m a ‘Rocky’ guy, so going in there, not even supposed to be there, not supposed to win and finding a way is why I think I fight. So this is the best position for me.”
It’s one he embraces.
“I always believe in myself,” he said. “I’m never one to scream and shout that I’m gonna win, what round I’m gonna win in or anything like that. I kinda keep it to myself, but I always do believe in myself. You can’t not hear what everyone else is hearing, though, so I think the fact that everyone else is saying I shouldn’t be in there, I shouldn’t have got a title shot, whatever they’re saying – it doesn’t really matter to me. I just love proving people wrong, and this is the perfect storm for that to happen.”
The excitement in Edgar’s voice is evident. This is the stuff he lives for, and despite already having compiled a Hall of Fame-worthy resume, he’s still got something left in the basement. Does that ever come as a surprise to those around him?
“I think the people that know me,” he laughs, “they’re not surprised one bit.”