As the build-up for the UFC 189 match-up between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor mounted, Frankie Edgar sat in the wings, waiting for it all to play out so that he could finally get another shot at the title.
After defeating Urijah Faber in May, nearly everyone considered Edgar the No. 1 contender to the winner of Aldo vs. McGregor.
But when Aldo unexpectedly pulled out of the fight following a rib injury last week, the UFC didn’t turn to Edgar, they turned to the fight then ranked No. 1 in the official UFC featherweight rankings, Chad Mendes. That was a bit surprising to most, considering the Edgar was widely regarded as the next likely challenger and considering that Mendes has lost to Aldo twice, most recently in October.
“Early on, when I heard that (Aldo) was injured, we threw our hat in the mix, we’d be willing to step in,” Edgar explained on Inside MMA on Friday night. “They decided to go with Chad Mendes for that role. I think the explanation was, he’s the No. 1 contender, I was No. 2 at the time. After he got the nod, the new rankings came out and I was No. 1.”
Edgar, of course, wasn’t happy with the decision, feeling like he had once again been slighted for the title shot that many felt he deserved well before McGregor. The consummate professional, Edgar expressed his disappointment, but didn’t exactly lash out at the UFC or anyone else.
The promotion made its decision, and Edgar knows that it’s not exactly the prime position for Mendes, anyway.
“It’s not the most favorable situation either. Chad’s coming into this fight on 17 days notice, so that’s no easy task, but I would have liked to get the nod over Chad, but what are you gonna do?”
Edgar isn’t quite sure where this leaves him in regard to his next fight, but he does know that he’s not going to sit back and wait for a title shot if that means waiting for the winner of Mendes vs. McGregor to then fight Aldo. Such a scenario would likely have him on the sidelines for several months, possibly up to a year from his last fight.
That’s not something he’s willing to do.
“We’re gonna see what happens on the 11th, but I’m not gonna sit around and wait fo the winner to fight Aldo. It’s for an interim title, but it’s really a No. 1 contender’s fight,” said Edgar.
“The winner gets to fight Aldo when he’s healthy. With Aldo, you just don’t know when he’s gonna be healthy. We’ll see how things come together, how they pan out, and we’ll take it from there.”
Check out the full interview below…
(Video courtesy of AXS TV)