Sport: MMA & Wrestling
Born: October 16, 1981
Town: Toms River
Frank James Edgar was born October 16, 1981 in Toms River. The oldest of three kids, Frankie demonstrated strength, quickness and agility as a boy and was drawn to wrestling. He trained at Elite Wrestling in Jackson, under the coaching of Steve Rivera. At Toms River East, he made it to the state championships as a sophomore, junior and senior, finishing runner-up in his junior year. He also finished second in the 2000 Senior Nationals.
Frankie earned a scholarship to Clarion University in western Pennsylvania and was a star for Ken Nellis’s Golden Eagles, reaching the NCAA Tournament as a freestyle wrestler all four varsity years. He was named an All-American in 2004.
Shortly after graduation, Frankie turned his attention to Mixed Martial Arts. He underwent boxing training and joined the MMA Rhino Fight Team. His first fight was against Eric Usek in the summer of 2005. Fighting at around 150 pounds, he scored a TKO. He won 9 more times before dropping his first decision to former Michigan State wrestler Gray Maynard. The fight would spark one of MMA’s best rivalries.
In the spring of 2010, Frankie took the UFC Lightweight title from BJ Penn in a unanimous decision. Frankie’s performance was nominated for a Best Upset Espy that year. He triumphed in a rematch with Penn 10 weeks later. On New Year’s Day 2011, at UFC 125, Frankie fought to a draw with Maynard, retaining his title. Many experts considered it the best fight of 2011. Later that year, Frankie knocked out Maynard.
Frankie lost his title to Benson Henderson in 2012, and dropped his next two fights. Fighting now as a featherweight, he defeated Brazil’s Charles Oliveira to get back on the winning track and through the end of 2014 hadn’t lost another fight.