Frankie Edgar admitted it. The former UFC lightweight champion is sick of answering questions on whether he’ll eventually drop to 145 pounds and challenge Jose Aldo. True to his nature, however, “The Answer” has been all business when it comes to Benson Henderson, the man who dethroned him in February, and the goal of becoming a two-time king Saturday night at UFC 150.
Edgar was deft in orchestrating a rematch with Henderson shortly after dropping a narrow decision in Tokyo. Word was getting out that Anthony Pettis – he and the Showtime Kick defeated Henderson at the WEC’s swan song in December 2010 – was one fighter projected to knuckle-up with “Smooth.”
Other names in a deep lightweight division were being bandied about. None of them was Edgar, so the kid from Toms River, N.J., went on a mission to not begin a career at featherweight, but to get a rematch he believed was rightfully his. It was Edgar who as champion granted B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard immediate second chances (in Maynard’s case it was the third of a trilogy after the second bout ended in a draw), so he stood up, spoke loudly and told the UFC it’s time for payback. And that’s what brought Edgar and Henderson together in Denver to headline UFC 151.
“I was pretty set on getting the rematch," Edgar said. "The fight didn't go my way the last time. I guess I wanted a re-do. Here we are.”
UFC president Dana White did Edgar a favor, but whoever loses faces a long climb back up the lightweight ladder. In Edgar’s case it could be his last bout at 155 if White ultimately gets his way and matches Edgar into an eventual title fight with Aldo or Erik Koch, who challenges the Brazilian Cobra at UFC 153 on October 13. White has also gone on record that Nate Diaz will meet the winner, which means Henderson with a loss will be back in the middle of the lightweight shuffle.
No matter the result, the lightweight division will be infused with new blood led by Diaz, Pettis and Donald Cerrone if he gets past Melvin Guillard in the co-main event. If it moves on without Edgar, he’ll have a chance to write a new chapter as a featherweight, but if it’s up to him, that part of the book will never be written.
“Dana thought I'd be a good fit at 145," Edgar said. “He's been stressing that since day one, but I've been steadfast staying at 155. I just want that rematch.”
Henderson-Edgar II is a fight many MMA fans wanted. It pairs two of the best and most likable competitors in the world. I anticipate the rematch will outsoar the original, the result to be closer, but the winner to remain the same. Henderson split decision.
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