Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo Jr. will go toe to toe for the UFC Featherweight Championship on July 11th, in what is built up to be the fight of the year, but has the trash-talking Dubliner got away with one, by having a title shot without really being tested by a the top 3 contender, including Frankie Edgar.
Frankie Edgar, a former UFC Lightweight champion, with a record of 18-4-1 takes on Urijah Faber this Saturday, May 16th in the Philippines.
With three wins in a row, including a dominant performance over fellow top contender Cub Swanson at UFC Fight Night:57, Edgar looked prime to step into the Octagon with champion Jose Aldo next. However, he now has to wait his turn as the Notorious Conor McGregor is the next in line for the Brazilian.
Since his debut in the Octagon back in 2013, McGregor has stated on numerous occasions that he will eliminate the division to become the UFC champion. He has gone on a five-fight win streak in the UFC, but has he really been challenged and shown his championship status?
The world thought that #5 ranked Dustin Porier would be his most difficult opponent, and McGregor dispatched of him in the first round. After that fight the Featherweight division really started to heat up, as many believed it was his time to take on one top three contenders and show he can battle with the best.
This was not to be, as he took on #9 ranked Dennis Siver, and laid waste to him after two rounds. Dana White confirmed after the fight that Aldo/McGregor was on.
“We’re looking at May in Vegas,” White told MMAjunkie following UFC Fight Night 59.
After this announcement many experts were scratching there heads as to why, after five fights and only one top five finish, does McGregor deserve a title shot? One reason. Money. Its been proven that McGregor is the money man of MMA, breaking all kinds of records in his comeback fight in Dublin last July.
The UFC and the powers that be knew they had to make this fight happen now, otherwise they’d risk losing millions. If you were to put Conor McGregor into the Octagon with a veteran like Frankie Edgar, an NCAA Division I All-American wrestle, then you’re asking for trouble.
Edgar has lost just four of his 23 fights (All went to decision, three of which were title fights), making him more then capable of putting it up to the Dubliner.
Known for his stand up game, McGregor would face a whole host of problems against Edgar, who is a different animal to McGregor’s last five opponents. He’d be facing a fighter that has never been knocked out, never been submitted, can take his opponents down with ease and has gone the distance in 13 of his 23 fights, winning nine.
We are yet to see McGregor on his back, we were provided with a glimpse of his ground game against Max Hollaway, before he tore his ACL. Edgar is a wrestler and is built like one, once on the ground you’re in trouble, as we saw with his annihilation of Cub Swanson.
Aldo is perfectly matched for McGregor technique-wise but McGregor should be thinking he dodged a bullet by facing Aldo without having to come across Frankie Edgar first because that would have pushed his title shot back by at least a year.
Mark O’Connor, Pundit Arena