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Frankie Edgar's coach asks 'running' and 'scared' Conor McGregor to 'man up and defend' the belt

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Frankie Edgar's head coach, Mark Henry, is none too pleased with the recent statements and suggestions from Conor McGregor and his team.

Speaking with MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani, Henry weighed in on the possibility of McGregor moving directly to the lightweight division after capturing the UFC featherweight title at UFC 194. To Henry, doing so leaves a deserving foe in Edgar behind – for a second time.

"I saw Conor's coach's [John Kavanaugh's] remark on your show [The MMA Hour]..Bro, why is his boy running so bad?" Henry asked. "Now, he has [had] two chances to fight Frankie. First was when Aldo got hurt [before UFC 189] and the UFC asked Chad [Mendes] 'Have you been training?' and he said no, he's been doing a hunting show.

"They asked Frankie, and he said, 'I train all year, yeah, I'm ready.' He picks Mendes."

McGregor went on to finish Mendes via second-round TKO after that fight, setting up a blockbuster title-unification bout against Jose Aldo at UFC 194. With McGregor winning via first-round knockout in that fight and Edgar taking care of business against Mendes a day earlier at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, the stage is seemingly set for them to finally clash.

However, with McGregor's talk of moving to lightweight, that may not be the case, and Henry takes issue with that fact. To him, it's just another instance of McGregor not showcasing the same heart as Edgar.

"Now Frankie finishes the same guy [Mendes] he [McGregor] had on 10-day notice that spanked him until he got tired, and Frankie does his part," Henry said. "This fight comes down to both, when they were in beginning of their career, when both [were] in a kneebar, Frankie says, 'Break it off,' and he [McGregor] taps before the guy has a good grip. They're not even made [from] close to the same heart."

Henry also believes McGregor moving directly to 155 pounds goes against the precedent set by other champions – including Edgar – in the past. With no title defenses to his name yet, Henry believes McGregor should hold serve until he's earned the right to move up to challenge the lightweight elite.

"No one has ever been able to jump up in weight class before taking care of the top five, and this guy doesn't even have one defense," Henry said. "The guy says he would fight Frankie if Frankie took care of business. Well, he did, so he should be a man of his word and stop being so scared. He's the one that's been scared for so many years cutting down from 180, 175 to fight guys with less range, weight and height, while Frankie was 152 fighting 155.

"So now you have the belt –  man up and defend it. Like they said in Braveheart, 'Don't tuck tail and run.'"