Well that didn’t take long did it? Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will make his featherweight debut in a championship fight. USA Today reports that Edgar will replace Erik Koch against Jose Aldo at UFC 153 in Brazil.
“Obviously, we’ve had a rough couple of weeks here at the UFC, and then sure enough, I walk in to work today, and Erik Koch is hurt,” White told USA TODAY Sports. “But Frankie Edgar, being the stud and the warrior that he is, steps up and accepts this fight.”
The news comes a week after the UFC had to not only cancel a scheduled title fight with Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, but had to shut down an entire show. In this case, the champion will get plenty of time to prepare for his opponent. Aldo and Edgar won’t square off until October 13, giving both fighters ample time for training camps.
[adinserter block=”2″]This is a rare case where the UFC winds up with a better main-event due to injury. The last time I can remember this happening was Tito Ortiz stepping in for Phil Davis at UFC 133 against Rashad Evans. Edgar is a huge boost over Koch with all respect to Koch. Quite frankly I am sure the UFC were salivating over the idea of making this fight change. Compound that with the fact that the event will be taking place in Aldo’s home country of Brazil and you have just turned a forgettable headliner into one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
Edgar is moving down after a successful run at lightweight for over five years. Edgar is coming off back to back losses to UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson. Edgar leaves the UFC lightweight division with a record of 9-2-1 which included a championship win over the legendary BJ Penn. Edgar has never fought at featherweight at any time throughout his career.
I hate to spoil the party here but it should be pointed out that Edgar will now be the UFC fighter getting a championship fight on his division debut this fall. Vitor Belfort who hasn’t fought in the UFC light heavyweight division in over seven years will be getting a shot at Jon Jones at UFC 152. At least in the case of Belfort you can make a case that Belfort won seven of his last eight fights. Not so much in this case!
I am a Frankie Edgar fan but let’s be frank about this. The man is 1-2-1 in his last four fights. He hasn’t won a fight in close to a year! If the UFC defended the Vitor call on his 7-1 record, how do they defend this? I like Edgar and I want to see Edgar fight Aldo, but in no way does he deserve a title shot. It is unfair to the others in the division and it greatly diminishes the credibility of UFC championships.
[adinserter block=”1″]I was never a fan of Edgar moving down in weight, especially after the last fight with Henderson. It just seems odd to me that a guy who was so close to winning the title (and should have won) would be pressured into dropping a division. The right call in my eyes was to either give Edgar an immediate rematch or a title eliminator fight. Hopefully when this charade is all said and done Edgar can go back to the division where he belongs. I just don’t see the reasoning other than finding a drawing opponent for Edgar to send the guy to another division.
Unfortunately the more the UFC overextends themselves on shows, the more you are going to see situations like Edgar vs. Aldo or even Jones vs. Belfort. It is almost as if Vince McMahon is booking the fights these days.
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