Frankie Edgar is one of the best mixed martial artists to ever grace a fenced-in fighting enclosure, and if you had any doubts about that, hopefully you tuned into “The Ultimate Fighter 22” Finale on Friday at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. The size difference between Edgar and his opponent, perennial featherweight contender Chad Mendes, was massive. However, the former lightweight champ put together a beautiful combination of punches to sink Mendes’ title ship and set him up for a shot at the winner of the Jose Aldo-Conor McGregor unification bout at UFC 194.
Despite Edgar being the betting favorite, there weren’t a whole lot of people picking him to blow out Mendes the way he did. The emphatic nature of the win will surely help Edgar’s negotiating chances with Zuffa brass, right? Edgar said in his post-fight interview on Fox Sports 1 that Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White assured him he would be next in line to fight for the 145-pound strap. He also said he doesn’t care who wins between Aldo and McGregor.
While he may say he doesn’t care who he faces for another crack at UFC gold, I’ll take a shot at what he was really thinking.
“I want to fight McGregor,” the fictional Edgar talking to me in my head said. “He’s a much easier fight for me than Aldo, and I’ll make way more money beating him up.”
There are a couple of obstacles to “Red Panty Night” for Edgar. First off, McGregor has to get past Aldo, a tall task in and of itself. Second, should the Irishman prevail, he is heavily rumored to be making the jump to lightweight after a number of difficult weight cuts. With that in mind, it looks like Edgar’s chances at the big-money fight are pretty steep.
I’m sure the former lightweight champion would welcome a move back to 155 pounds, but a featherweight title would look nice in his crowded trophy case. There aren’t a whole lot of two-division champions in the short history of the UFC. That would be quite an accomplishment in a career full of them.
Sherdog.com Executive Editor Greg Savage can be reached by email at email@example.com or via Twitter @TheSavageTruth.