by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
A champion very rarely gets a moment to celebrate his victory before the next challenger comes knocking at their door. Such is the case with Frankie Edgar, who captured the UFC lightweight title by pulling off a stunning upset of B.J. Penn, a fighter widely considered to be the top 155-pounder in the world.
Edgar will try to soak it all in over the next few days, traveling home to New Jersey to spend time with his family, but the polish on the gold might not even get a chance to dry because a list of lightweights gunning for the belt has already started to form.
The top fighter on that list is Gray Maynard. Yes, the same Gray Maynard who holds the only victory over Edgar. The two fought in April 2008, and Maynard used his superior size and wrestling to earn a decision.
UFC president Dana White seemed to lean towards Maynard getting the first shot, especially considering that the shot at Penn was basically down to Edgar and Maynard before UFC 112 ever happened on Saturday night.
“Yeah, could be Gray,” White answered.
The new champion sounded happy to oblige, while also hoping to erase the only loss on his otherwise unblemished record.
“I think it’d be great,” said Edgar. “It’s a great storyline. It’s great to promote the fight; the only guy who’s beat me is coming for my belt. Yeah, I think that’d be a great fight.”
If the shot does go to Maynard, there’s no doubt he’d be quick to accept the fight. When responding to MMAWeekly.com via text message on Saturday about whether he’s hopeful to get the first shot at Edgar’s title, Maynard responded accordingly.
“God I hope so! Please let that be the case,” he replied.
It looked like a potential showdown between Maynard and former top contender Kenny Florian could be looming on the horizon, but Edgar’s win throws a whole new element into the lightweight division and the top fighters vying for a title shot. Florian could also be a candidate after submitting Takanori Gomi in his last fight, but at this point all signs are pointing towards an Edgar vs. Maynard rematch later this year.