Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is chasing a second chance at history.
Currently ranked at No. 3 in the UFC featherweight division, Edgar (17-4-1) takes on No. 2-ranked Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night 57 on Saturday. A win will likely earn the 33-year-old an opportunity to become only the third fighter to have won UFC titles in two weight classes. He’d join Randy Couture and B.J. Penn on the short list of fighters that have accomplished the feat.
He’s had the opportunity before, but lost in his featherweight debut to reigning champion Jose Aldo at UFC 156. A rematch with Aldo rests on his performance gainst Swanson at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Swanson (21-5) is on a six-fight winning streak. His three most recent wins have come over top ten-ranked fighters. While Swanson’s 145-pound resume is impressive, Edgar believes it’s a match-up that he should win.
“I’ve just got to show up and be myself,” said Edgar during a recent appearance on UFC Tonight. “He’s tough. He has heavy hands. He throws unpredictable strikes. But if I stay technical, stay smart, I should win this fight.”
UFC president Dana White recently stated that if Swanson wins he’ll face champion Aldo next. White didn’t publicly say that Edgar would get a title shot if he wins, but Edgar isn’t focused on what may await him after the Swanson fight. One step at a time is Edgar’s approach.
“I’m not focused on any of that because if I don’t get the win then none of that even matters,” he said. “So I’ve got to make sure I win this fight. Then I’ll go bug Dana about that.”
Vitor Belfort has the chance to become a two-division UFC champion when he faces middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman at UFC 184 on Feb. 24. The former light heavyweight champion also won a UFC heavyweight tournament in 1997, but hasn’t held two different divisional belts.