Former UFC lightweight champion and featherweight contender Frankie Edgar is making the move to 135 pounds.
Following his failed attempt to wrest the featherweight belt from Max Holloway, Edgar has finally decided to head the advice of his coach and drop to the bantamweight division. The move was first reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, who cited Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz and his coach, Mark Henry.
“We have already started discussing Frankie’s bantamweight debut,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “We’re hoping it will be at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, but 100 percent Frankie’s next fight will be at 135 pounds.”
Frankie Edgar’s UFC run at lightweight and featherweight
Edgar fought the majority of his career at lightweight, where he defeated BJ Penn to become the UFC 155-pound champion in 2010. He made the move to featherweight in 2013 after he lost the lightweight title to Benson Henderson and failed to win it back in a rematch.
Though he has gone 8-4 at featherweight, Edgar has failed on three occasions to win the 145-pound championship. He lost twice to Jose Aldo and then to Holloway at UFC 240 on July 27.
Insisting he was nowhere near ready to lay his gloves on the Octagon floor, Edgar has since been steadfast that he would continue fighting. The only question had been whether or not he would continue his pursuit at featherweight or make the long-urged drop to 135 pounds.
Why Frankie Edgar’s coach wants him to cut weight
It’s a move that Henry has been wanting Edgar to make for quite some time, citing his lack of size compared to most of his opponents in the featherweight division.
“I love the kid, and I feel it will be safer for him at 135. He always does better when he fights guys his own size. When he’s fighting guys with similar height and range — sometimes they still weigh more than him, but I feel like it’s an even playing field,” Henry told ESPN.
“He was barely cutting any weight at featherweight. I think during this last camp, he was 152 pounds a few weeks before the fight. And he hadn’t started cutting yet.”
It hasn’t yet been decided whom Edgar will face in his bantamweight debut, but it is likely to be someone in the deep end of the pool. When Edgar moved from lightweight to featherweight, he was granted an immediate shot at Aldo, who had lorded over the weight class at the time.
Henry Cejudo is the current UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion. Though it’s unclear if the UFC would be willing to grant Edgar an immediate shot at Cejudo in his first fight at 135 pounds, there is some backstory there.
Prior to UFC 240, Cejudo said that he wanted to fight Edgar if he defeated Holloway in hopes of become the UFC’s first three-division champion. That, of course, didn’t happen, but it does add an interesting twist to Edgar making the decision to drop to bantamweight.
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