Frankie Edgar has just one fight left on his UFC contract. Don’t expect him to be going anywhere, though.
Edgar told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that the next fight on his UFC deal is his last, but he plans on re-upping with the UFC. Edgar said he was in contract talks with the promotion before having groin surgery recently and expects to come to terms before he steps in the Octagon again.
“I’d like to get a deal,” Edgar said. “That’s what I’d like to do. Who knows what’s really gonna happen. But I would like to get a deal. I don’t really want to go anywhere else. This has been my home since the beginning. I just don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. It’s not like we’re that far apart.”
Edgar, 35, has been in the UFC now for 10 years and remains a top contender, now in the featherweight division. The New Jersey native is a former UFC lightweight champion and future Hall of Famer. Edgar (21-5-1) is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205 in November.
Training for the Stephens bout, Edgar said he tore his MCL and he has also been dealing with a groin issue for years, which prompted the surgery.
“I was banged up,” Edgar said. “Whatever. I was good enough to fight, though. The camp was rough, but by the time fight night came I was good enough to go.”
Edgar foresees a return sometime around May, maybe even UFC 211 on May 13 in Dallas. As for the opponent, that’s a little more muddled. Jose Aldo is the current undisputed UFC featherweight champion and Max Holloway holds the interim belt. Those two are supposed to fight next, but the bout has not come together. Edgar would not mind seeing Holloway next — Edgar lost to Aldo at UFC 200 in July — or, if that doesn’t work out, someone like Ricardo Lamas.
“I think those are ones who make sense, depending on what Holloway is gonna do with Aldo, what Aldo is gonna do,” Edgar said. “Who knows?”
Over the last few months, Aldo has talked about retirement and moving over to boxing. He was given the undisputed featherweight title by the UFC after Conor McGregor, who beat Aldo to win the belt in December 2015, won the lightweight title. Holloway defeated Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight title at UFC 206 in December.
It’s all a bit murky, but Edgar will just keep on keepin’ on, as usual. He wanted to fight at UFC 208 in Brooklyn this weekend, but could not come to a deal with the UFC in time for that one, so he elected for groin surgery he has needed for some time. Edgar is hoping the UFC meets his demands for a contract or “at least close enough to make me happy.”
“I’m assuming we’ll have to get that done before the fight in May,” Edgar said.
Either way, don’t expect Edgar heading to free agency. The UFC has been home for him since 2007. In that time, he has won the lightweight title, captured fans’ imaginations by making comeback after comeback in the Octagon, and firmly entrenched himself as one of the sport’s most beloved fighters in history.
“It went by in a blink,” Edgar said, “and you look back and it’s been a hell of a ride.”