Frankie Edgar has confirmed that he will finally make his debut in the UFC bantamweight division following the most recent setback to his title-aspirations.
Not that the performance he turned in at UFC 240 was an awful one by any stretch, but even still, size matters and in recent times, that fact has become more and more clear.
Edgar’s longtime coach Ricardo Almeida actually outlined exactly why his pupil should consider the move – citing the differences in sparring sessions he has witnessed between him and the comparatively massive Zabit Magomedsharipov and the more evenly-sized Marlon Moraes.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reported first that Frankie’s day as 145lb are over, or at least they are for now.
Speaking to his coach Mark Henry – who had apparently been pushing The Answer to make this move for years – Okamoto also reported that, ideally, his divisional debut would come at November’s UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden, New York City.
“It feels like a new beginning for us. I love the kid, and I feel it will be safer for him at 135. He always does better when he fights guys his own size. When he’s fighting guys with similar height and range — sometimes they still weigh more than him, but I feel like it’s an even playing field.
“He was barely cutting any weight at featherweight. I think during this last camp, he was 152 pounds a few weeks before the fight. And he hadn’t started cutting yet.”
Breaking: Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) is dropping to bantamweight, per his manager Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) and coach Mark Henry (@MarkCoachmark13). Team has informed UFC, hoping to make 135 debut in November at MSG. https://t.co/QlWdQFhePV
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 7, 2019
When the prospect of a drop to 135lbs was first mentioned, we compiled a list of reasons why the former lightweight champion would be perfectly suited for the division, a list that can be read here.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena