Frankie Edgar thought Cub Swanson would 'jump to that fight' after callout

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

Frankie Edgar was a little surprised to hear that Cub Swanson wanted to fight him. Then the former UFC lightweight champion was even more surprised when Swanson declined to make the fight.

The UFC tried to book Edgar vs. Swanson as a replacement main event on April 13 in Las Vegas after Demetrious Johnson had to back out of his flyweight title defense against John Moraga due to a shoulder injury. So after Edgar and Swanson had engaged in back-and-forth banter over Twitter, Edgar had expected Swanson to take the featherweight fight.

"He just had a fight not too long ago, but I didn't think weight would be an issue," Edgar said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Especially hearing him call me out a little bit, you know, I thought he'd jump to that fight no problem. I don't know."

Swanson's reasoning for not taking the planned TUF 17 Finale main event was that he suffered a foot injury during his Feb. 16 win over Dustin Poirier and wouldn't be able to train enough to get in shape and make weight for the fight. Edgar, for his part, is basically looking for a relevant fight against a highly ranked featherweight.

"He said he was banged up and he told me he couldn't work out on it enough to get down in weight," said Edgar. "But hopefully we make that fight at a later date, who knows? I'm looking at Cub as a number, if he's the highest-ranked guy, who doesn't have a fight, who's available, that's who I want to fight. I feel like after seven fights in almost three years, I was either the champion or fighting for the belt. I feel like I deserve a top name."

Edgar, of course, lost a title fight against Jose Aldo at last month's UFC 156. With the championship in mind, Edgar wants to continue fighting five-round fights, even if it means he has to main event a smaller show than the PPV extravaganzas he's grown accustomed to headlining.

"Is a five-round fight going to be in my favor? Edgar asked. "Yeah, most likely, I'm pretty comfortable doing it. My goal, I'm not going to try to fight just to keep my MMA career going. Fight for the title, that's still my goal. So I want a name like Cub. That's why I want a five-round fight, that's the way it works. Let's keep taking these five-round fights and get back at the title."

After Edgar again found himself on the wrong end of a decision in a close fight against Aldo, the inevitable questions popped up as to which weight class best suits Edgar. Should he stay at 145 pounds, move back up to lightweight, or maybe consider dropping to bantamweight?

The answer, for now, is to stay put. "I'm going to stick around at 145 for now," Edgar said. "I wouldn't say I'm done, I don't want to close the book on it. But right now I'm sticking around. I'm going to work my way back to the title is my goal.

As for potentially moving to bantamweight, Edgar said there's "Not a very big chance. Say I did win the 45-pound title, then maybe I could have made a push for three belts, in three different weight classes and whatnot, but since 45 went away ... I don't need to suffer, I think there would definitely be a little more suffering than I need to, man. I can compete at 45 and 55, don't need to go down to 35. But if history was on the line, maybe?"

One thing you won't hear Edgar do is dwell on the past. By all accounts, the Aldo-Edgar fight was close, with most rational observers concluding that Aldo won the first three rounds, and Edgar the final two, although round three was close. Edgar's comments made it clear he's ready to move on.

"I'm as over it as much as I can be, obviously I'm upset I didn't get the win, but what are we going to do? Back to the drawing board I guess we go," said Edgar. "I think I can always do better, but I was happy with my performance. I was more than prepared, everybody in my corner was prepared."

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