But based on his emotional appearance at the UFC 240 post-fight press conference Saturday at Rogers Place, they don’t get any easier.
After losing a five-round unanimous decision to featherweight champion Max Holloway in the evening’s main event, Edgar tied a record with his fourth consecutive UFC title fight, joining Urijah Faber on the dubious list.
Edgar, a former lightweight champion, has twice competed for titles at 145 pounds, losing twice to Jose Aldo. This time, it was Holloway who had his number.
“I’m heartbroken,” Edgar said. “It’s tough when you want something really that bad and you can’t get it. I’ve been close so many times before.”
“I’m pissed off, a little disappointed, but I’m proud of my performance,” Edgar added later. “I’m just disappointed in letting my team down, you know? I know they’re proud of me, but you always want to deliver a victory to them because they sacrifice so much as well.”
The final scores were 50-45, 49-46, and 48-47 all in Holloway’s favor and that varying range of opinions suggests that the fight was a competitive one, even if it never seemed like the champion’s reign was never in any serious danger.
As close as some of the frames may have been, that modicum of success provided little solace to Edgar.
“I thought I won a couple,” Edgar said. “It’s tough to really say when you’re in there, I guess I’ve got to watch the fight. But my team thought I won a couple too.
“It doesn’t matter, it wasn’t enough.”
The path ahead is an uncertain one for the 37-year-old Edgar. Does he consider a fresh start at 135 pounds? Does he stay the course and begin another long climb up the featherweight mountain? He was reluctant to speak on his future, saying that “what’s next” was the farthest thing from his mind at the moment.
Speaking to Joe Rogan in the cage post-fight, Edgar did make it clear that he’s not retiring, a statement that he didn’t direct at any segment of critics in particular.
“I don’t say s*it, I don’t really care what anybody thinks or says,” Edgar said. “I guess that was for myself.”
With his children in attendance, Edgar was asked what lesson they can take from their father’s latest loss and he reiterated a motto that has served him well in his 12-year UFC career so far.
“You’re gonna lose in life if you let it keep you down,” Edgar said. “And I’ve lost before, it’s what it is, it’s never held me back.”