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‘WTF?!’ of the Day: BJ Penn is Still a -365 Favorite Over Frankie Edgar

(Have a nice trip, see you this summer. Photo courtesy of

Props to BloodyElbow for tipping us off on the early betting lines for UFC 118 (August 29th, Boston), in which former champ BJ Penn has been pegged as a minus-365 favorite over new champ Frankie Edgar, while "The Answer" is still a sizable underdog at plus-285. Going into their first fight at UFC 112, the line was -675/+552 in Penn’s favor, meaning that Edgar’s chances have been upgraded from "snowball’s chance in hell" to "snowball’s chance in Phoenix."

We haven’t seen a champion come in as such a significant underdog since Serra vs. St. Pierre II. The question is: Is it justified? Oddsmakers are masters of tapping into public sentiment about a matchup, and preying on bettors’ emotions. Basically, they want you to put your money on Edgar with the hopes that you’ll triple your investment, so that they can collect it all when the Old BJ shows up and cleans house. But when the betting line starts to drift too far away from reality, they run the risk of getting burned.

Obviously Penn should be the favorite in the rematch — he’s BJ Penn, for God’s sake, and may not have been completely healthy last month. Still, would you call his loss a fluke, in the "could never possibly happen again" sense? Does Penn really deserve to be more than a 3-1 favorite at this point? Edgar’s win wasn’t like Matt Serra catching GSP with a punch that stole his equilibrium in the first round; he hung in and scored points for all 25 minutes. Think of the boost in confidence that must have given him. Before UFC 112, Frankie thought he could beat BJ Penn. Now, he knows he can. His gameplan worked. Penn may very well steamroll Edgar in Boston, but he’ll have to be a lot sharper to do it.

If you’re the betting type and feel like Frankie Edgar can shock the world twice, get in on this one as soon as you can, because the line will only shrink down once every UFC fan in Jersey puts down their shore house payment on the scrappy kid from Toms River. Personally, I’m going to skip this one and get rich putting my life savings on James Toney

Cagepotato Comments

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David McKillen- May 10, 2010 at 6:04 am
With nothing but respect for Frankie ... I feel BJ lost that fight not because Frankie beat him but because BJ was not on top form (for whatever reason). I think the odds are that BJ will finish the next fight earlier and be on top again almost as if Frankie was never holding the title - just my two cents.
KillDozer- May 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm
i thought B.J. won the last fight, you know, in a way champs normally win questionable decisions
Your Dumb- May 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm
@Phattousai - lmfao
Your Dumb- May 7, 2010 at 8:29 pm
The only time I went "WTF" in regards to this fight was when I saw B.J. accept his loss.

You have to admit... there was something creepy about that.
rampageisgod- May 7, 2010 at 4:42 pm
It was my understanding that BJ Penn was healthy for the last fight and made up the sinus infection. I don't see how you can improve on 100% healthy.
RwilsonR- May 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm
I really can't stand BJ Penn, and I hate the special treatment and unearned title shots he gets, but I think it will be real tough for Edgar to pull out the win twice. I still think BJ is the better fighter, but I'm not sure I would put the odds quite so high in his favor. Either way, BJ has a much better chance of winning it this time.
cloiselle- May 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm
frankie fought a great fight and earned that belt, bj may have been off or he may have not been. ( huge bj fan, he's who got me into mma ) we'll see how it goes in boston !

It's no surprise to see the odds still so lopsided. Bj is notorious in the lightweight division for his ability to finish fights , frankie is not.
halfbreed23- May 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm
I thought the BJ/Edgar fight was easy to score. 48-47 for BJ. Don't really understand what anyone else saw unless they were scoring Edgar's head movement.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 7, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Phattoussai- Now that shit is funny. Viva guerros!
Phattousai- May 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm
"Edgar's chances have been upgraded from "snowball's chance in hell" to "snowball's chance in Phoenix.""

As long as the snowball can prove it's here legally, it shouldn't have a problem. Oh wait, never mind. Snowballs are white.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm
@ TheyAlreadyStuckThemInYou

I don't know if you're talking to me about the "old fighter" shit but I will reshpond anyway. Some great fighters are notoriously inconsistent, for whatever reason, BJ being pretty much the king of them all. If the dude really wants to, he can whoop a lot of people's asses, he just has to find his happy place. As far as fighters finding the old them, I concur, that shit is patently ridiculous.

Find the old you when you were vaporizing nobodies in the bush leagues? Find the old you when you beat the other up and coming prospects when you were first signed? The only way to keep up with or beat the upper-tier competition is to constantly evolve, to patch holes in your game, and to not throw your whole game out the window when you have identified a hole.

So, yeah, I think it sounds retarded when fighters say they want to basically regress to an earlier time. I think they mean they need to find the confidence in their abilities that led them to be aggressive and winning fights when the competion was easier and they were probably coming off a fat win-streak and a bunch of hype.
Ratel- May 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I agree; I also think that the whole "finding the old fighter" line of crap more accurately means "find the old level of success and domination", without factoring in the rising level of skill that is required to remain in the top tier.
Ratel- May 7, 2010 at 1:55 pm
I think if BJ comes in healthy he's gonna outbox and out jiu jitsu frankie. too bad, 'cause i'm more of an edgar fan than a bj fan.

for me the best part of his win over bj was (i suspect) the the judges were feeling edgy about not fucking up a title fight that went the distance, a la machida/rua.
Nealio- May 7, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Not surprised at the odds. What will surprise me though is BJ letting himself be embarrassed again.
I mean seriously, BJ has DESTROYED the last 4 guys that challenged him. Then he goes in against a guy like Edgar and does mediocre. Edgar just outjuked and outjabbed him for the win. I hope Edgar tries to do that again.
Jersey Shua- May 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm
Frankie won me some money last time, no reason to think he can't do it again. I'll forego some Jagerbombs and put that money on Frankie. Then when he wins I can get 2.85 more Jagerbombs!
Ratel- May 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm
Heart over talent... sounds just like what every fighter who lost a fight said or had said about them. Most recently seen when Maia fought Silva. He was credited with having heart just for surviving having had his face punched in and being struck whenever Silva felt like it. This was amplified by Silva managing to have shit his common sense out before the fight and not finishing Maia off.

Sure, Frankie's got talent. But I don't think it's as much as BJ has, and certainly not enough to out-heart/out-talent/out-fight a BJ Penn coming in at close to 100%.

But go ahead and bet your mortgage payment on heart if you want to. 'S your money.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm
New Caption:

Frankie: "Dude! Hold still! There's a big ass spider on the back of your neck!"

BJ: "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Get it off! Get it off!"
Promise of Stress- May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm
+2 Harry Sack

+1 for the ole brazillian-fag-radar


+1 for Harry Sack as your username
El Guapo- May 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm
LMAO! @ Harry.. I have my holy water right here, just in case. I'll cure his ass.

Wait, no! Not his "ass" ass. What I meant was... DAMMIT! This is awkward. Just forget I ever mentioned anything.
LetMeStickItInYourRua- May 7, 2010 at 1:39 pm
Dear Cage Potato,

I hear by request a ban be put on writers from being able to say "If the old so and so shows ups" because honestly it's annoying. If the old him would have showed up in the first place we wouldn't have to drop that little gem of a phrase now would we? You guys already put a ban on fighters bringing that up so what gives you the right to say it? Come on guys. You're better than this.


A very concerned MMA fan
Harry Sack- May 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm
Whenever a post starts off with "props to bloody elbow" I automatically begin to fire up the ole' brazillian-fag-radar to level defcon five. You never can be too carefull these days.
Mr_Misanthropy- May 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm
Betting on or against BJ Penn is a good way to wake up confused, angry, and hung-over the next day. That being said, I think BJ's going to have a lot to prove in this fight and I didn't see Frankie Edgar do anything spectacular in the last fight. BJ looked slow, off time, and he wasn't even skipping up to the cage with that crazed-animal expression on his face. If Edgar had GSP'd him that night, I would be saying "Gee Whiz!", but all in all Edgar survived what looked like an unfocused (for whatever reason) Baby J. All I know is that if I see a replay of their last fight I'm going to throw my fucking beer through the TV screen, cause that shit was fucking gouge-your-eyes-out boring. I don't need to see Frankie's fox trot for another 25 minutes, and I also don't see any indications that this will not be a return to the regularly scheduled programming.
cecils_pupils- May 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm
What are the odds on BJ violating the CP ban on "bring' back the old BJ"? Pretty damned good.
mikesite- May 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm
i have a lot of faith in the ricardo almeida fight team, and i gotta tell ya i see frankie leaving again with the belt. its gonna be one of those instances where heart beats talent.
LBo- May 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm
If it's that much of a WTF, put some bread on Frankie Edgar. Especially if you had him winning the first one.