The former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar broke down exactly what a fight with Conor McGregor would mean to his legacy at this point in his career.
It’s hard to believe, but the end of February 2018 marked six years since ‘The Answer’ Frankie Edgar last held his UFC title at 155lbs. As a fighter who could be outsized by some bantamweights, the very fact that Edgar was more than capable of being competitive with the larger men is a complete and utter testament to both his skill as a fighter and his near inhuman drive as an athlete.
It’s a shame that some of the newer wave of MMA fans will know Edgar only for his status as a perennial contender in the featherweight division but to those unfamiliar with his work, I would urge you dip into his back catalogue.
His trilogy with Gray Maynard – and in particular their second meeting – do a good job at summing Frankie up in a nutshell. Small, speedy and a powerful wrestler, Edgar brings to the table the heart of three men and throughout his career, he has made a name for himself as one of the, if not the studiest fighters in the world.
At UFC 222 on Saturday night he faces the dynamic submission threat that is Brian Ortega over three rounds and though Frankie has never once been finished in his pro-MMA career, those familiar with the rise of ‘T-City’ will know that he will ask some very unique questions of his opponent.
Of course, one of the main stories that has surrounded ‘The Answer’ in recent weeks has been the claim made by McGregor that he attempted to step in and face Edgar in UFC 222’s main event after his originally scheduled opponent Max Holloway was forced to withdraw due to injury.
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I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this. I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need. I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in. On top of the fighting. I am here. It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ Champ™
The only reason, according to Conor, that the fight didn’t take place was that the UFC felt that they wouldn’t have the time necessary to build up fan interest just one month out from March 3.
It’s a fair enough point. A ‘Conor McGregor fight’, in general, doesn’t seem like something you can just get together and achieve the full potential financial return on in such a short space of time but alas, with Edgar signed to fight Ortega, the fans will have to wait until the Irishman’s true comeback bout.
Frankie spoke during the UFC 222 open workouts recently about the fight and how a matchup against the Irishman would sit on his record.
“I mean, who wouldn’t want to fight him. He’s the most popular guy in our sport, possibly ever. Years down the line, if I didn’t have him on my record, of course I’ll be a little disappointed,” Edgar told TheMacLife.com.
“But I’m not really worried about it. We could have crossed paths many times, and we haven’t. I think we would have already if it was actually going to happen.”
It may, indeed, never happen but truth be told, Edgar has achieved more in the space of his UFC career than most and a spot in the UFC Hall of Fame is already waiting for him, regardless of how things go when he takes a detour through T-City on Saturday night.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena