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Interesting Tidbit of the Day: Frankie Edgar’s Corner Nearly Threw In the Towel in the First Round Against Gray Maynard at UFC 125

(Video courtesy of YouTube/TapouTNews)

TapouT’s Mike Straka recently caught up with Frankie Edgar to see how the UFC lightweight champ’s back rehab is coming along and an interesting nugget came out of the conversation. Apparently Edgar’s New Jersey-based boxing trainer Mark Henry was calling for the towel to be thrown in during the trouncing Edgar took in his January 1 UFC  125 bout with Gray Maynard.

Edgar said that Henry’s emotions got the best of him, and he mistakenly says it wouldn’t have mattered had he thrown in the towel as it isn’t a recognized gesture in the UFC. I guess “The Answer” never saw Royce Gracie‘s corner throw in the towel prior to the start of his bout with Harold Howard at UFC 3.

Technically, the towel throw (or corner stoppage) is a foul that is usually punishable by the opposing fighter being awarded the win due to disqualification or a point deduction at the discretion of the referee, which would have seen Maynard take the round  by a 10-7 margin.

Here’s the list of fouls under UFC rules:

1. Butting with the head.
2. Eye gouging of any kind.
3. Biting.
4. Hair pulling.
5. Fish hooking.
6. Groin attacks of any kind.
7. Putting a finger into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent.
8. Small joint manipulation.
9. Striking to the spine or the back of the head.
10. Striking downward using the point of the elbow.
11. Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea.
12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh.
13. Grabbing the clavicle.
14. Kicking the head of a grounded opponent.
15. Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent.
16. Stomping a grounded opponent.
17. Kicking to the kidney with the heel.
18. Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck.
19. Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area.
20. Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent.
21. Spitting at an opponent.
22. Engaging in an unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent.
23. Holding the ropes or the fence.
24. Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area.
25. Attacking an opponent on or during the break.
26. Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee.
27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat.
28. Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee.
29. Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury.
30. Interference by the corner.
31. Throwing in the towel during competition.

In other words, Edgar lucked out that Henry didn’t have a towel, or he may have lost his belt. Instead, he roared back to eke out a draw against Maynard and ensured a rematch.

Here’s transcript of the interview for those who can’t watch the video:

Mike Straka: Watching the fight, I don’t know if you know this, but watching the fight — your second fight with Gray on January 1 this year, on when you have the multiple angles and multiple audio feeds, did you know that Mark Henry was calling to throw in the towel?

Frankie Edgar: Yeah, I think that he was getting a little overwhelmed — a little excited. Out of everybody in my corner who knows enough stuff, I don’t think it was an issue. I don’t think anyone else was calling for that. I think Mark, he just puts so much into us and he’s so passionate that it kinda got ahold of him for that one round.

Mike Straka: When you hear that though, you know he’s coming from a place of really a big heart and he loves you like a little brother, but if that had happened, you would have kicked his ass, wouldn’t you have?

Frankie Edgar: I would have. I told him afterwards when I heard he was calling for the towel, which I don’t think you can throw the towel in in the UFC, which is a good thing. But I told him, “Dude, don’t you EVER throw the towel in.

Cagepotato Comments

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Buster Hyman- June 22, 2011 at 5:51 pm
cant grab the neck/trachea?! then keith jardine DID beat wanderlei silva! i called it bitches!
RSparrow- June 21, 2011 at 3:29 pm
36. Never, ever getting a boner during full mount or when giving up your back. Looking at you Nick Ring...
dim mak- June 21, 2011 at 12:50 pm
clay guida consistently violated the ban on timidity with his pusillanimous "shoulder strikes" against showtime pettis.
Mofo- June 21, 2011 at 12:32 pm
@danomite - Oh man I'm gonna bust open an eyebrow and then fuck it!
Mofo- June 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm
"27. Attacking an opponent after the bell has sounded the end of the period of unarmed combat."

As opposed to the period of armed combat, where UFC fighters pick up RPGs, shotguns, and AK-47s.
irish brawler- June 21, 2011 at 11:52 am
this is old ass news, i dont know why the news sites are suddenly covering it...
BONGTAR- June 21, 2011 at 11:33 am
rule # 54 - No rear naked Kegel chokes
Viva Hate- June 21, 2011 at 11:13 am
And this is why you never let a WWE wrestler be your trainer.
TheHulkSmash- June 21, 2011 at 11:07 am
BAHAHAHA! Danomite just earned 2 T-shirts!
danomite- June 21, 2011 at 10:46 am
sweet! there's no rule about farting in the other guy's mouth. that's my go-to move. Also, rule 7 states: Putting a FINGER into any orifice or into any cut or laceration on an opponent. It doesn't say anything about other body parts. just something to keep in mind for your next fight, Karma.
Fried Taco- June 21, 2011 at 10:39 am
12. Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh. - So all those times the team Jackson guys tweaked their nipples should have had a foul called before the fight even started!
MyDonkeyPunch- June 21, 2011 at 10:33 am
#36 Not shitting your pants during a match. Looking at you Timmy.
fxdfp- June 21, 2011 at 10:31 am
Serious question I've always wanted to know: if striking to the back of the head or spine is illegal, why is slamming legal? The back of the head and spine would still experience an impact that could have the same result as a strike.
Me likey- June 21, 2011 at 10:30 am
i guess dana white himself may have written it then. he must have knowledge of words that if uttered the universe will implode.
Gladheateher- June 21, 2011 at 10:09 am
The whole point of throwing the towel is forfeiture.
I dont think any corner is worried about losing the match or belt when they throw it in. God forbid if Frankie got punched stupid.
Blame it on Jersey.

"Dont do that, its against the rules!"
"Do you realize what you've done?"
"Hes recovered.. hes winning"
"Shit, I threw it in out of excitement"
hjdevnull- June 21, 2011 at 10:06 am
So, #24: if the Diaz brothers have not lost multiple fights for foul language within the cage, then I think we can safely say that one is not enforced much. Or whoever wrote it has much more foul language at hand than I can dream of. Well, I guess it's not mutually exclusive, either...
steampunk22- June 21, 2011 at 9:55 am
I'm still a little bitter over this fight. When we bet on the fights you can purchase 2 minute 'blocks' of consecutive minutes. I bought two. The first two minutes of round 1 for Maynard, and the last two minutes of Round 5 for Edgar (read as Edgar by Decision). I got screwed TWICE. :)
Dizzylittlelord- June 21, 2011 at 9:48 am
35 sniffing the queefs of the ring girls as they walk by
intercept440- June 21, 2011 at 9:36 am
34. faking an eyepoke numerous fights, then getting the two hottest ring girls fired over it... Again koscheck, major foul bro major foul, poor natasha wicks and my girl logan stanton
jimbonics- June 21, 2011 at 9:35 am
jimbonics- June 21, 2011 at 9:34 am
33. Never referring to Dana White as Asslip McFlyShades.
intercept440- June 21, 2011 at 9:34 am
33. being a complete waste of skin....i.e. koscheck, bisping, the 209ers, paulo filo etc..
knucklesamitch- June 21, 2011 at 9:29 am
32. Unsuccessfully pulling guard so often that you are rendered so gassed that it takes an excessive amount of time to stand up.

Werdum, I'm looking at you.