UFC president Dana White has made it very clear that he’d like to see recently-deposed UFC lightweight champ Frankie Edgar shed some pounds to fight at a more natural weight of 145lbs., going so far today as asserting that the former champ would be granted an immediate title shot against Jose Aldo should he make the move.
Edgar has remained vehemently against the idea of cutting his losses and heading south, as he’s been the champ for nearly two years and only lost the belt by close and controversial decision. To Edgar, the suggestion of dropping weight divisions is disrespectful and not being granted an immediate rematch against Benson Henderson as he was made to do against BJ Penn and Gray Maynard both is unjust. As White told MMAJunkie today though, his desire to see Edgar compete at featherweight is rooted in anything but disrespect.
“Here’s the thing: I really care about this kid,” White said. “I like him a lot. There’s only so many wars you can have in your career, and I hate –- hate, hate, hate –- guys fighting out of their weight class. He did it because he had to do it because there was no other weight class, and you can’t deny a guy a way to make a living. But I would love to see him at 145. I can’t tell him where to go, but I can [expletive] heavily persuade him.”
Edgar has been the world’s top lightweight since 2010 and has proven that he can compete against the division’s best. But, in White’s eyes, it might be coming at an unnecessary toll on Edgar’s health, when he could be fighting the world’s best fighters who also happen to be his size. Though he admitted that it’s unfair Edgar wouldn’t be given an immediate rematch, the longstanding clog at the top of the 155lbs. division coupled with the fact that Edgar seems best suited to fight at 145lbs. has White confident that a weight cut is the best move to make.
“You can say whatever about Frankie, this guy’s fighting with 155-pounders, guys that are cutting from 170-plus, and are always so much bigger than him, and the guy has absolute wars and pulls out decisions that are so controversial every time. I really respect him,” said White. “I like Frankie Edgar as a human being. Take the whole fighting thing out of it.
“This guy belongs at 145 pounds. When you’re a professional fighter, you have a small window of opportunity as it is to compete and be a professional athlete. There’s only so many wars you have in you. You can’t have this long, amazing career fighting wars all the time. I don’t know. This whole thing’s a nightmare, and we’ll see what happens.”
Frankie Edgar is 14-2-1 as a professional, with all of his pro contests being waged at 155lbs. His title-relinquishing loss to Benson Henderson ended a six-fight winning streak.