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Frankie Edgar: I ‘deserve’ title shot against Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega winner

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Frankie Edgar is never far from a title shot and he believes he’s done enough to keep himself at the front of the contenders’ line.

A recent bout with UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has already slipped away on two occasions, first at UFC 218 last December when Edgar withdrew due to injury, and again at UFC 222 in March when an injury forced Holloway out. Edgar agreed to fight replacement Brian Ortega on the latter card, where he suffered the first knockout loss of his 13-year career.

Shortly after, Ortega was announced as the next challenger for Holloway, leaving Edgar in the lurch. Rather than feel sorry for himself, the former lightweight titleholder agreed to a rematch with Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City, just seven weeks after being KO’d by Ortega.

Edgar defeated Swanson again, this time via unanimous decision, and he feels he’s maintained his spot as the one to fight whoever emerges victorious from the Holloway-Ortega bout scheduled for UFC 226 on July 7.

“I still think I’m the guy,” Edgar told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “S**t, I risked that shot, maybe I shouldn’t have like people said, but I’m going to do it every single time. I still believe I can win that fight (with Ortega). I was doing well in that fight, obviously I got caught and Ortega did a good job of finishing.

“But yeah, I want the winner. I think I deserve it. I’m No. 3. We’ll see what happens.”

Though he’s heard no word from officials, Edgar agreed that he’s probably in a good position with the company having returned to the Octagon so quickly to help the UFC bolster an event in his home state of New Jersey.

If anything, he was grateful for the opportunity to get back in the win column. The 36-year-old has now seen his hand raised in three of his last four fights.

“Everything’s got to work out the right way, I guess,” Edgar said. “I did my part last Saturday, I’m glad, that’s why I jumped in quick because I want to be back knocking on this door and here I am knocking on this door. I think I’m the guy.”

Should the UFC grant Edgar a chance to win his second UFC title, he’ll have to deal with either the seemingly indomitable Holloway, who has won 12 consecutive bouts, or Ortega, an undefeated fighter and the first to ever finish Edgar inside the distance.

Edgar is amenable to either matchup.

“Either one would be great as long as we get that title on the line, I’m all in,” Edgar said. “Of course, I’d like a chance at Ortega, but if Max wins, Max shows that he’s the man and I want to go beat the man.”