Former UFC Champion Frankie Edgar Dropping to Featherweight
August 21, 2012
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As reported on “UFC Tonight” and confirmed by the UFC’s official Twitter account, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will be moving down to 145 pounds. While I’m not somebody who thinks changing weight classes is typically beneficial for a fighter, I think this is an excellent move for Edgar to make. Since Edgar has now lost twice to Benson Henderson (despite both fights being very close), it’s difficult to imagine the UFC promoting a third match between them, meaning that Edgar would likely be passed over for lower-ranked fighters to challenge for Henderson’s title. With a fresh start at featherweight, Edgar will have a much better chance of being chosen as a title challenger.
On top of that, the featherweight division in particular is devoid of interesting challengers right now. Erik Koch will be the next to challenge for Jose Aldo’s championship, and while I think Koch is about as good as any viable contender the UFC could choose right now, he’s only barely a top 10 fighter at 145 pounds in my opinion. Should Koch lose to Aldo as expected, the roster of top UFC featherweights features names like Ricardo Lamas, Dennis Siver, and Chan Sung Jung. While those guys all have their merits, none of them have really built a resume worthy of a title challenge as far as I see things.
I expect Edgar to be treated similarly to the way Kenny Florian was treated when he moved down to featherweight. I see Edgar being placed in a co-main event or main card fight against one of the top UFC featherweights, and should he win, being given a shot at Aldo’s title. And honestly, a fight between Edgar and Aldo is much more interesting to me than any Edgar fight at lightweight would have been. So while I don’t necessarily see Edgar becoming a better fighter as a result of this move, I do think it’s the best move for his career, and the best move for the fans as well.