Former UFC champ Frankie Edgar on mend after back surgery: ‘I feel really good’

Frankie Edgar’s fighting career is on pause as he attempts to recover from a recent back surgery.

Edgar (24-10-1 MMA, 18-10-1 UFC), a former UFC lightweight champion who now fights at bantamweight, went under the knife roughly two weeks ago for a microdiscectomy. The operation was intended to remove part or all of a bulging or herniated disc in the lower spine.

The timeline for recovery, according to, is approximately six weeks. Edgar will need to be cautious before being cleared for a training camp given the grueling nature of his profession, but “The Answer” said he’s already on the right track.

“So far, so good,” Edgar said on the latest edition of his “Champ and The Tramp” podcast. “Obviously a little sore, but the reason I went there – it feels like it worked. I always push too hard, sometimes. … I feel really good. I want to do more. I can’t twist and turn and bend over. I feel like I can do all that, but I’m trying to sustain in the meantime.”

Edgar, 40, said he had a similar surgery when he was 18, but it was on the other side of his spine. He managed to recover from that successfully and go on to put together a UFC Hall of Fame-worthy career that sees him hold the record for most total fight time in octagon history at 7 hours, 55 minutes and nine seconds.

There’s hope that the surgery will help Edgar extend his fighting career. He had a hip replacement surgery earlier this year, too, and managed to come back in form for a clash with Marlon Vera at UFC 268 in November.

Edgar was having great success in the matchup with “Chito,” using his wrestling to rack up points with the judges. He made one mistake, though, and in the third round of the 135-pound matchup, Vera caught him with a front kick to the face that led to a knockout defeat.

It’s clear the trauma of 29 UFC fights is catching up to Edgar, but he said the hip and back surgeries have rectified a lot of lingering issues. Ideally, that will set up improved preparation and performance in his next bout.

“I’m glad I got it done,” Edgar said. “I’m hoping it stays feeling like it does. Two surgeries and now I’m fine walking around.”

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