The Answer For Frankie Edgar
By: Danny Chen
This weekend UFC landed in Edmonton, Alberta Canada for UFC 240. In the main event we saw Max Holloway go head to head with Frankie Edgar and win quite handedly by unanimous decision. For one judge, they scored a shut out of 5 rounds to none for Max, another one rounds to one, and lastly one judge scored Frankie winning two of the five. An obviously emotional Edgar was disappointed with the result. Even though Edgar is nearing 40 years old, he clearly still has a lot of fight in him and can still compete against the top echelon of fighters. Frankie Edgar’s best option moving forward would be one that people have discussed for a long while now. Moving down to the 135-pound Bantamweight division. It may be a shocking thing to consider because 8 years ago he was the 155-pound champion at Lightweight, a full 20 pound difference.
Frankie has been in the UFC for 12 years at this point, has racked up over 7 hours of Octagon fight time, and has a laundry list of accomplishments in this sport. With that in mind, being undersized is a norm throughout the illustrious career of “The Answer”. Despite this major disadvantage, he has always found tremendous success in the Octagon. Frankie was the champion that dethroned the legendary BJ Penn and went on to have memorable wars against Gray Maynard during his time at Lightweight. Even though the result was incredibly close and controversial, it was only after losing the title to Benson Henderson and again in the rematch that the size disadvantage finally caught up.
From there he made the move down to Featherweight with notable wins over Cub Swanson, Yair Rodriguez, and Chad Mendes. But even at Featherweight he has looked undersized, and it was especially apparent against the likes of Max Halloway and Brian Ortega. As fantastic as he has performed against the divisions best, he has now gone 0-3 in Featherweight title fights after losing to Max. But at this point, it will be incredibly challenging and difficult to find himself climb the Featherweight ladder again to reach a fourth attempt to compete for the title especially if Max continues to be Champion.
As a former Champion, and future Hall of Famer, there is nothing left for Frankie to prove, he has accomplished so much in this sport. Though he has said himself several times that he loves competing, he loves to win, and he still has plenty of gas in the tank to pursue his dream of becoming a champion again. If he can manage the weight cut, dropping down to the Bantamweight division would be the perfect solution to provide a refreshing change to his career. He will find himself against new competitors he has not fought before, and more importantly against other individuals that are similar in size.
With the Champion Henry Cejudo currently injured and with the discussion of him going back down to defend his Flyweight title against Joseph Benevidez there is plenty of time for Edgar to relax after his recent title fight, and have a practice weight cut to see if he can handle it. Considering his legendary resume and career, Frankie would find himself right in the thick of things in the Bantamweight division with several names in the rankings which would make interesting matchups. From Urijah Faber, Jimmy Rivera, Dominic Cruz, and Cody Garbrandt, there are plenty of must watch fights. With only a couple of wins, Edgar would find himself right back into title contention and even quite possibly an interim title if Cejudo is out for too long.
It is a commonplace for fighters to change weight classes to reinvigorate their careers in mixed martial arts. As of recently, the trend has been for them to move up a weight class but going down has been a successful change for some such as Demian Maia, or Valentina Shevchenko. Edgar has already found success going down a weight class when he made the move to Featherweight. The answer for Edgar to pursue his second title lies within second move down another division and climb the rankings and to challenge for the Bantamweight weight.