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Frankie Edgar Announces Move To Featherweight

The UFC moving truck continues to busy in August with fighters moving up and down in division. The latest is former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Edgar has caved into the pressure and announced his move to the featherweight division.

I have to admit that I was stunned when I read this announcement. The calls for Edgar moving to featherweight have been loud since he was first defeated by Ben Henderson earlier this year. Edgar was adamant that he had no interest in moving. Even after his most recent fight he still was adamant that he was not moving. Guess what? He’s moving.

UFC president Dana White has been putting the public pressure on Edgar to move for awhile. In my opinion, this is more about Jose Aldo than it is about Edgar. Jose Aldo is so good, that he has practically no competition in the division. As a draw he is about as poor as it gets right now. Moving Edgar allows the UFC to finally cash in on Aldo for a fight or series with Edgar.

I don’t get this whatsoever in looking at the big picture. I blogged extensively in the past about why the calls for Edgar to move to featherweight were ridiculous. In short, the man has only lost one fight in his entire UFC career in the division. The man has beaten every top lightweight fighter he has ever been matched up with up until Ben Henderson. Even with Henderson, he was never finished. Plus and this is a huge plus, he was robbed of the title in their last fight! I am not a big Edgar fan but I’ll call a spade when I see it and Edgar deserves a rematch no matter what was promised to Nate Diaz. I don’t understand why you would sacrifice one of the most dominant lightweights in history for one money fight. I don’t get it.

Sure they could move Edgar back to the division after the Aldo series should he lose, but what is the point? You are taking one of the most dominant fighters in the division away for an extended period of time. Could Edgar stick around and help build the featherweight division? I guess so but here is a dirty little secret nobody in Zuffa would ever admit. Nobody wants to watch the featherweights! They are fun for a fight here and there but they aren’t draws. Casual MMA fans want to watch big guys slug it out or go to the ground, not little guys bounce around for five rounds. If that was the case Jose Aldo would be the biggest draw in the UFC!

Edgar was told that he must win one fight before getting a title shot. That sounds legitimate doesn’t it? One fight makes a top contender? In one breath Dana White is telling Chael Sonnen he needs more than one win to get a title shot yet in the other he says it is okay for Frankie Edgar. Maybe I am putting too much stock into the titles but I have a real hard time with the credibility of a title fight when the challenger is getting the shot off of one win. Edgar needed three to get to BJ Penn and in my opinion that is the way all title paths should be.

There is also the whole issue of weight cutting. Weight cutting is a part of fighting but it is a very dangerous game. Edgar is a fighter known for the fact that he doesn’t cut weight for his fights. Now you have pressured the guy into a situation where he needs to cut weight and then rehydrate by fight time. I won’t even get into the fact that you have a real unfair situation to Aldo in that case, but such is life in the UFC and their phony divisions.

I know Edgar isn’t a big draw but I am disappointed we won’t be getting Henderson-Edgar III, Edgar vs. Diaz, Edgar-Maynard IV, Edgar-Pettis, Edgar-Guida, Edgar-Lauzon, or Edgar-Miller in the foreseeable future. As a fight fan I think this may be one of the most short-sighted moves I have seen from Zuffa in a long time.

I guess I’ll get excited for Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes instead.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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