Moments after Frankie Edgar retained his championship against Gray Maynard at UFC 136 folks should have been wondering who he wanted to fight next, what it felt like to finally get the “Maynard Monkey” off his back, or how personally rewarding it was to come back after nearly getting finished off in the first round. However, rather than a who, what, or how, the question most people were asking was of the “when” variety as in when, not if, Edgar will move down to the featherweight division?
Fans want to see it. UFC President Dana White wants to see it. Me? Not until it’s a necessity rather than an option.
Sure, Edgar is a natural 145er but his abilities have proven to be anything but those of an average competitor. He also likes fighting as a lightweight based on the advantage he feels it gives him where speed and conditioning are concerned. No major weight cut means no need to pace himself out of fear of his cardio failing, so while other fighters are busy managing their weight and stressing out over making the limit he’s busy training full speed and maintaining a relaxed state of mind. If he’s happy where he’s is, why should the rest of us care enough to cricitize him for his choice?
He’s also had a great deal of success already as a lightweight including wins over Sean Sherk, Jim Miller, and of course B.J. Penn (a fighter many considered to be unbeatable at 155 pounds until Edgar did it twice in back-to-back bouts).
As long as Edgar can keep performing as he has thus far in his career there’s no need for him to change anything up. His story is much more intriguing as an underdog who keeps beating bigger opponents than a favorite who trounces guys his size or even smaller in some cases. If there comes a time where he can’t hang with the best at 155 or has cleared the division out, then and only then should “The Answer” look at a new divisional home.
What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC