Frankie Edgar Considers Drop to 135
Frankie Edgar put on a performance on Saturday that checked all the "Frankie Edgar fight" boxes. He fought a bigger man in Jeremy Stephens, outboxed him and outwrestled him, and of course survived a terrifying moment that would have done in most fighters.
It was the same Frankie Edgar that defended the lightweight championship twice against a comparatively massive Gray Maynard. When Edgar was fighting at 155 lbs., most of the UFC world called for him to move down to featherweight for his own sake.
Now that Edgar (21-5-1) has failed twice to defeat Jose Aldo but won all his other featherweight contests, talks of dropping a weight class have resumed. After his UFC 205 victory, Edgar fielded many questions about a potential drop to 135 lbs. and a fight with bantamweight king Dominick Cruz.
“Right now, I’m staying at 145,” Edgar said on Saturday, but with some uncertainty. “I don’t know, man. We’ll see what I say tomorrow. Right now it’s 145. Cruz has a fight ahead of him. We’ll see what happens in that one and maybe make a choice after that.”
The fight Edgar wants is obvious: Conor McGregor. The featherweight and now lightweight champion headlined the UFC 205 card, capturing his second belt against Edgar’s teammate Eddie Alvarez. If McGregor is not stripped of the featherweight belt, many will be calling for him to return to 145 and defend the title, something he has yet to do.
“Hopefully, Conor (is next), if he wants to come back down to 145 and give me that title shot,” Edgar said. “We’ll see what happens.
“… I think whether he wins or loses, he should have to defend the 145 (belt) first before he does anything at 155. Unless he wants to give the 155 up.”
There is another complicating factor that Edgar failed to mention: Jose Aldo holds the interim featherweight title, having earned it when he bested Edgar at UFC 200. If McGregor was to return to 145 lbs., one would think that Aldo has to be the opponent for him.
If Edgar was to drop to bantamweight, his chances of getting a title shot would only increase. A matchup between he and Cruz — who first has to get by Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207 in December — would be a dream super-fight between two footwork-heavy tacticians.