Frankie Edgar has heeded the call from UFC fans and president Dana White. The former lightweight champion, coming off two razor-thin losses to current 155-pound king Benson Henderson has decided to drop down in weight and compete at 145 pounds for the first time in his eight-year career. The news was first announced on FUEL TV's UFC Tonight.
"The fight at UFC 150 didn't go my way," Edgar told UFC.com. "I'm not saying I'll never fight 155 ever again but this is something different. Dana wants me to go down and right now it's the right time to do it."
If he stayed at lightweight, Edgar wasn't getting a third chance at regaining the lightweight crown anytime soon, not with a loaded division that now has Nate Diaz as its No. 1 contender with Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone rising quickly up the ranks. If Edgar wins at least one bout against a top featherweight contender, it will likely assure a shot at current champ Jose Aldo or whoever rules the division by that time.
Aldo, who defends against Erik Koch in October, said in a published report he hopes "we can shut him off and he goes to the lightweight or bantamweight classes."
That statement is what apparently finalized Edgar's decision.
"That definitely helped me make my decision," he said. "I'm a competitive person and when someone talks like that it makes me want to get in there and see what ‘45 is all about."
There are plenty of opponents who could give Edgar a rough welcome at featherweight in addition to Aldo or Koch, notably Chan Sung-Jung and former top contender Chad Mendes, the latter who challenged "The Answer" over Twitter. I'm one of the pundits who suggested Edgar make this move, the first time after his initial loss to Henderson, if only to become just the third fighter to win a championship in two different weight classes. Edgar remains an elite fighter who in many people's minds is the uncrowned lightweight champion, but if he can finally be the guy to stop the Aldo machine, his legacy in the UFC will be the size of Mount Olympus.
"That would be phenomenal," Edgar said on the prospect of joining Randy Couture and B.J. Penn as multiple weight-class champions. "That would be something you can look back on in later years and be proud of, but I can't really look past this next fight. I don't know what they envision about an immediate title shot or not. I know Dana said at the press conference that he wants to see me fight a guy first. I really don't care. I just want to get back to my winning ways."
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