Frankie Edgar Surprised by Another Shot at UFC Gold So Soon, but Won’t Let It Slip Away

September 7, 2012
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Frankie Edgar at UFC 125After losing back-to-back bouts to current champ Benson Henderson, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar knew it would be a long road back to title contention as long as Henderson held the belt.

As much as he had tired of the prodding from UFC president Dana White and questions from fans and media about moving to featherweight, it seemed after the second loss to Henderson that the timing was finally right for Edgar to make the move.

He just didn’t expect that his drop to 145 pounds would bear fruit so quickly.

Edgar had originally expected to take his next fight sometime around December, having just fought Henderson in early August. When Erik Koch went down due to injury, leaving UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo without a UFC 153 opponent, the call went out, immediately altering Edgar’s path to 145.

“This is a great opportunity I’m handed here. It’s something that I didn’t think would happen this quick,” Edgar told MMAWeekly Radio.

“It was an easy call on my part. I had fought less than three weeks ago when I got the call. I had an injury-free fight. I felt really good. I was already back in the gym a little bit. It’s an opportunity you can’t let slip.”

That’s not to say that Edgar believes that a victory over Aldo will be as easy as being granted the opportunity.

Having stumbled only once in his professional career, Aldo’s sole loss dates back to 2005. In the following seven years, he has won 14 consecutive bouts, most of them by a devastating knockout.

Aldo maintains victories over Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Mark Hominick, and numerous other top fighters in the sport.

“I’ve always been a fan of Jose Aldo,” said Edgar. “He’s an exciting fighter to watch. He brings it every fight. One of the best strikers we’ve got in the UFC. I’m pumped for this fight.

“He’s such a dynamic striker. He can get you with his hands, his feet. He can kind of do it all as far as his stand-up goes. He’s got a really good ground game that no one has really seen before. He’s gonna be a tough opponent, no doubt.”

At 14-3-1, Edgar is no slouch either. He’s spent the past several years fighting the top fighters in the world, including Benson Henderson, Gray Maynard, and BJ Penn during his path down the lightweight championship road.

His skills are perhaps as sharp as Aldo’s, but there is one element that could play into his favor. Edgar has lost his belt, while Aldo has not.

That may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you don’t realize just how badly you want something until it’s gone… and that can be a mighty powerful force.

“Like I said before, once you taste it, you want it back badly,” Edgar stated. “I’m just happy that come five, six weeks from now, I’m gonna have the opportunity to make that happen.”

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for more UFC 153 news and updates.

  • MaritalArtist

    I’ve read some blogs and comments this past week, ever since Koch pulled out, and I’m shocked that many people aren’t giving Edgar much of a chance of winning this one. Even the betting lines are just worse than 40-60 for Frankie taking it, which is about right. Guys, this ain’t no coin-in flip, but it’s a reasonably close fight. Let’s give Frankie some props. He’s got great boxing, great cardio, a huge heart, and his past accomplishments are simply unbelievable. And most importantly, now he’s finally fighting someone more his size. Go read that last sentence again.

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    Finally a high level striker in Aldo who can use those leg kicks and his speed to make a great style fight against Edgar. I love Maynard and Henderson but there great fighters, but Aldo brings another level of striking, something different.

  • dealinwhips

    What does it matter anyway? The ufc is as corrupt as professional boxing. It’s all about what matchups will bring the most money bad not about the fighters anymore. I have been a fan since ufc 1 and an even bigger pride fan. I used to count the days until a large ufc ppv, now there are only a few legit matches that I get excited for. The sport is losing fans, it got too big and doesn’t care about the sport anymore but more about the money. Hopefully it will get back to what made the company what it is and that’s fighters getting the right fights.

    • MikeMc1983

      Even if the UFC’s only purpose is to make money, I don’t see how that would make them corrupt.
      Question for you though. How many fighters do you think would like to scale back down? Less ppv, lower checks, but a more honest “finding the best” type of system.
      I personnely would prefer fewer pov’s. Less fights, but deeper cards. I’d also wish they would get rid of the divisions that requires a form of dwarfism. (155lbs and lower.)
      No one should ever get a title shot coming off of a loss unless it’s a rematch. My opinion anyhow.

    • DrkDisciple

      If that is your definition of corrupt then I hope that the UFC becomes even more corrupt and bring us more great matchups like this one!

  • http://www.combatsciencemma.com CombatScienceMMA

    So there’s something wrong with a business that wants match ups that makes the most money? Is it what it is and it if does make money it’s b/c it’s a big draw to the fans. For every fan out there that thinks they know about the business but complain that the UFC is only about making money there’s two more fans out there who understand it’s a business and as long as they keep making fights people are going to keep watching.

  • KBEsq

    I’m a huge Edgar fan and I have no problem with him getting an immediate title shot. He’s the most talented fighter in that division right now, save Aldo.

    However, I think it’s a mistake for him to take that fight so quickly. I realize he won’t be cutting much, but this is his first fight at FW. If he loses, then he might have problems in two weight divisions. I think he should have taken a tune-up fight or two. I hope I’m wrong, but Aldo is arguably the best, or close to the best, fighter in the world.

    • MrAdidas

      I agree, Edgar should still be LW champ, so for those who say Edgar shouldnt get another title fight after 2 losses, is well foolish. B/C he definitely won the 2nd fight & it was a very very close 1st fight. It would be different if it wasn’t close or controversial but it was VERY controversial, b/c Edgar beat Henderson the 2nd fight. BTW: Who deserves a shot before Edgar?!? Maybe the Korean Zombie, but he can get the winner/Aldo.

      I only say Aldo, b/c like KBE said, I think it’s a mistake to take this fight on short notice, only b/c he hasnt fought at FW yet, he has no idea how he’s body’s going to react or how he’s going to feel. I know it’s not a “huge” amount of weight, but it’s still cutting weight. The only positive for Edgar is if he loses, which I expect he will, he wont have to start all over again, b/c he took the fight on shirt notice & its his 1st fight. The UFC will take this into consideration, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Edgar beat Aldo, but I think he needed 1 fight or two to get comfortable & get used to moving around with less size.

      • JAVbal1633

        Nothing against Edgar BUT… KZ pulled a TWISTER on Garcia, Knocked out Hominick is 9 seconds and submitted agruably the #1 contender in Dustin Poirier. That doesnt say #1 contender to anyone?? Also I kinda thunk Edgar is in a bad psition. If he loses what happens to his career? Hes not going back to LW. Now you basically have the former LW champ completely irrelevent on 2 weight levels. Just my opnion…

  • adam1848

    I agree. This is going to to be a tough fight for both guys. Could go either way, but if Aldo loses he can always call out Bendo or Nate or whoever has the belt. But for Frankie, a loss (especially a clear one) puts him in no-mans-land. Would have liked to see him get a couple Ws under his belt at 45 before facing Aldo.

  • markrenton

    I also would have liked to see Frankie get a FW fight in before Aldo, but I feel like it was an opportunity that he just didnt want to pass up. Frankie wrestled for 5 years in college at 141 lbs, so making and fighting at 145 is not going to be problem. As for him getting this shot and the possibility of him losing and becoming 0-3…keep in mind that MMA records dont mean everything. At the end of the day, this is still a featherweight that beat Bj Penn and the rest of the LW division for a few years.

    Dont get me wrong I think that Aldo is an amazing fighter, but he has not fought the same level of competition that Frankie has.

    You can’t count out Frankie Edgar… he was offered this fight and took this fight for a reason.

  • kaldani15

    I think this is the best match up of the year.
    I believe these are the two best strikers in the UFC besides silva. These fight will be a war. EXCITED….

  • MikeMc1983

    Aldo has fought “lesser” competition, but he’s been beating them. Frankie’s got use to not winning. It’s been awhile since hes won a fight.
    I get that there are people who believe he should have won his last fight. Fine, there’s people who believe he should have lost to penn the first time.
    The last bendo fight could be close, but it’s no where near a horriable decision. It’s hard to judge a guy who actually resembles a cock fight. All the bouncing and feathers in the air make it hard to follow.