Did you know former UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is an undersized 155-pounder? If not, you may have stumbled across the wrong website since it seems safe to assume 99% of MMA fans have heard talk about Edgar being better off at featherweight whether the words came from media members, UFC personnel, or even their own mouths. It’s a topic having hounded Edgar for the past few years, even during his run as a title-holder.
Be that as it may, it’s time to accept a stark reality no one outside of Edgar’s camp seems to recognize – “The Answer” is not necessarily better off at 145 pounds and there’s no need for him to drop down to a new division anytime soon.
For starters, Edgar has been competitive in every clash he’s encountered in the cage. He handled BJ Penn, a former welterweight champion, on two occasions; he knocked Gray Maynard out who cuts 20+ pounds to make 155. Even against the much larger Benson Henderson, who he’ll face this weekend at UFC 150 in hopes of re-claiming the lightweight belt, Edgar started off strong before eating a serious upkick and still kept things close throughout the duration of their dance. He’s also beaten a number of notable 155ers including Sean Sherk and Jim Miller.
If a guy is as fierce a fighter as any of his peers, why should he feel forced to leave the division he’s been successful in? There are lots of lightweights whose dimensions aren’t far off Edgar’s who haven’t accomplished what he has, yet where are the calls for them to make a move?
There is no guarantee Edgar will excel in ways he hasn’t if he opts to fight at 145, as there are lots of examples involving a Mixed Martial Artist slimming down in hopes of doing better only to find out there’s no exact formula to winning. Even if Edgar loses on Saturday night and changes his mind, who’s to say whether or not he’ll win his featherweight debut? Again, there are no assurances when it comes to MMA action.
The truth is there are still lots of interesting options for Edgar at lightweight whether wearing the title or not. He is exciting and extremely talented regardless of his physical proportions, and as such I’m happy to see him face equally able individuals even if they’re slightly larger. Edgar against Nate Diaz, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone, or Anthony Pettis would be fantastic fights and aren’t worth sacrificing just to give Jose Aldo a challenger.
Let him lose a few more times at 155 pounds, if he does, and then start prodding Edgar again about making the move down. It’s unnecessary and takes away from what he does as a fighter regardless of weight. It’s time to forget about Edgar fighting at lightweight for awhile. He certainly has.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC