It’s been a little over a week and MMA fans are still debating the future of former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. If this is an argument about business, move him down. If this is an argument about sport, he deserves a rematch immediately!
This whole notion that Frankie Edgar is undersized at 155 is perplexing to me. Edgar is a former champion who holds a 14-2-1 record in the lightweight division. As champion, Edgar successfully defended the championship against BJ Penn (beat him twice in a row) and Gray Maynard, arguably two of the best lightweights in the world. The idea that all of the sudden after one fight he needs to drop weight is just ludicrous to me!
[adinserter block=”1″]Was Benson Henderson bigger than Edgar? Yes, but Henderson is bigger than just about everyone in the division not named Gray Maynard. On top of that, we aren’t talking about a fight here where Henderson came in, dominated Edgar, and finished it in one round. This was a fight that went five full, action-packed rounds. Edgar was rarely out of it, only looked in real danger a handful of times of being finished in 25 minutes. Was he outmatched by a guy with better skills and a better game plan? Yes he was, but the weight had nothing to do with it.
The UFC has weight classes for a reason. It really bothers me when I hear fans or even Dana White suggest this guy should move up or down in weight for whatever reasons. If a fighter whether it is Georges St-Pierre or Frankie Edgar want to stick to one weight class than there is probably a good reason for it. In the case of Edgar, the UFC commentators constantly talk about the fact that Edgar walks around at 155 and doesn’t have to cut weight. By that statement, Edgar would be dropping down in weight and by have Aldo by 20 pounds by fight time! Does anyone else here see the hypocrisy?
The UFC president is the man leading the charge for Edgar to drop weight and fight Aldo. Dana White said, “I feel like Frankie Edgar absolutely deserves a rematch, seeing as how every time this guy has fought, he’s given everyone else a rematch,” he said. “Yet, I don’t want him to fight at 155 pounds, I want him to go to 145 and fight for that title. And if we do give him a rematch, it clogs up — there are other guys that are in line waiting and it’s just a big mess.”
So if he deserves a rematch at 155, why do you want him to move to 145? Say Edgar does move to 145, he will be bigger than just about everyone in the division. What is next? Does Jose Aldo and the rest of the division than need to move down in weight? Where does this end?
The beauty of mixed martial-arts is that you are watching two guys with elite skill try and outsmart each other for fifteen to twenty-five minutes of high-level competition. If there is one thing we have all seen since UFC 1 is that in MMA, size has very little to do with the outcome of a fight. You don’t need to look back further than a few nights ago when Martin Kampmann tapped Thiago Alves who looked to be 20 pounds heavier than him. Crying about Edgar being outsized in an MMA fight is quite frankly an insult to the fantastic performance of Ben Henderson in Japan.
One ESPN.com writer wrote, “Edgar was just too small for this fight.” Says who? I probably have 40 pounds on Frankie Edgar and I am sure that the kid would wipe the mat with me in a UFC fight. A big part of the advantage Edgar has had over his opponents is the size. Anyone that has watched this kid fight since he entered the UFC would notice that the difference in size gives Edgar a speed advantage over bigger opponents. Edgar utilizes this advantage to confuse just about everyone he has fought other than Henderson. Why take that away from him?
Why isn’t anyone demanding that Benson Henderson move up in weight? Why isn’t anyone demanding that Henderson relinquish the UFC lightweight championship and move up to fight Georges St-Pierre or Carlos Condit? I mean after all, he is bigger than just about everyone in the entire division. That would be the right thing to do here. Before I start getting flamed with comments, please note the sarcasm.
[adinserter block=”1″]I understand that Dana White is looking at this from a business standpoint. I think this more about a weak featherweight division than any kind of Edgar vs. Aldo Super Fight. Putting Edgar in the division immediately boosts the featherweights and gives the UFC an opportunity to market an Aldo vs. Edgar series. Although the series is hardly guaranteed if Edgar drops weight and looks like a fighter that left his best stuff in the previous division (Demetrious Johnson).
Edgar has not been shy about expressing his desire for a rematch. “I’m saying it, and I’m saying it loud: I want my rematch,” he said. “I’m not going to have these antics or play these games. I’m telling you what I want. This is what I want. I think it’s fair. I think the fans want to see it. It was fight of the night. Listen, even if these guys want to see me get beat up, I do get beat up in a lot of my fights, even in the fights I win, so it’s win-win for everybody.”
I think anytime a UFC champion (or boxing) lose their title in a close decision they deserve an immediate rematch. Does it clog up the division? Sure, but that’s the breaks. Edgar dominated BJ Penn at UFC 112 and graciously offered the former champion a rematch. Edgar survived a controversial draw against Gray Maynard at UFC 125 and graciously offered Maynard a rematch. This is a kid that stepped up anytime there were doubts about his victories. Why not show him the same consideration?
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