In what might become known as the most difficult rebound match in the history of combat sports, UFC President Dana White has suggested that former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar drop down to 145 lbs, whereupon he would be given an immediate title shot against Jose Aldo. When questioned on the possibility of Edgar receiving a rematch against Ben Henderson following his…close, I guess, decision loss at UFC 144, White didn’t come right out and say yes or no, but rather suggested an alternate route for Edgar:
I think everybody is pretty clear on what I’d like to see him do, I’d like to see him go down to his natural weight of 145 pounds. There’s no doubt, again, when you talk about respecting a guy, I have so much respect for Frankie Edgar and what he’s been able to do at 155 pounds – because he had to, because there wasn’t a 145 pound division…
…if I’m gonna deny him the rematch for the 155 pound title, I’m gonna make him move to 145 and say, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna have to fight a couple fights first to get the title.’ Does that sound right? No.
When asked for comment, Urijah Faber exclaimed, “That makes perfect sense to me. Absolutely perfect sense.” OK, we made that last part up.
Although it is a well known fact that Edgar fights at his natural weight, a rarity which for reasons I do not understand is frowned upon in MMA, Edgar has stated before that he isn’t exactly interested in dropping to 145 lbs. And considering DW apparently scored Edgar’s title losing effort in the New Jersian’s favor, why would moving down to featherweight be Frankie’s best move? According to White, it’s out of respect for the former champ, and a desire for his career to last as long as it possibly can, which isn’t that long to begin with:
I really like and respect Frankie Edgar as a human being — take the whole fighting thing out of it. This guy belongs at 145 pounds. When you are a professional fighter, you have a small window of opportunity to compete and be a professional athlete. There are only so many wars you have in you. You can’t have this long, amazing career fighting wars all the time.
Personally, I felt the Edgar/Henderson decision was pretty clear cut, and was surprised to say the least when I heard that White had scored it in favor of Edgar. But the man makes a good point in that, despite Edgar’s incredible heart, chin, and work ethic, he will never size up to the Ben Henderson’s of the world. The fact that a man who fights at his natural weight shouldn’t be competing at said weight says more about the mentality of the sport than it does about Edgar himself. However, that’s simply the way the game is played nowadays, so you might as well get in line.
But then you come to the issue of an immediate title shot at 145 lbs. Does Edgar deserve it? Let’s say he does, but taking on an arguably, no, assuredly more dangerous opponent than the one he just lost to seems like kind of a suicide mission. It would be like if we decided to go from Vietnam up into China back in 1975. And invaded Japan on the side. Jose Aldo is that dangerous. And being that Frankie has never had to cut weight before, you would imagine he’d maybe want a tune up fight ala Kenny Florian to get used to the weight. I could be wrong here, so what do you guys think, rematch or possible deathmatch?