Frankie Edgar's legendary career did not get a fairytale ending at UFC 281. Fighting in his final fight before retiring from the sport, Edgar was flattened by a brutal knee from Chris Gutierrez to end the bantamweight bout in the first round.
Gutierrez got off to a quick start, landing strikes from all angles while also feinting and using his footwork to keep Edgar at distance. While Edgar was able to absorb the first flurry of strikes from Gutierrez, it was clear he needed to change where the fight was taking place.
Edgar tried to do that, changing levels and shooting for a takedown. Gutierrez realized the shot was coming and threw a knee straight down the middle, connecting to Edgar's head and sending him crashing to the mat.
The end of the fight came at just the 2:01 mark of Round 1.
Ahead of the event, Edgar, a former lightweight champion and multi-time featherweight title challenger, had announced that the fight would be his final professional bout. He was able to give a brief post-fight interview, stating that the result was obviously not how the final chapter of his storied career to play out.
"I love this sport, man," Edgar said. "I didn't want to go out like that. This sport is a bitch. But I've got my family and that's all that matters."
Gutierrez is now riding an eight-fight unbeaten streak, the lone blemish in that stretch an August 2020 draw against Cody Durden.
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news, including instant analysis of UFC 281 at the conclusion of the PPV event below.