Frankie Edgar is making the move down to bantamweight.
The former UFC lightweight champion who has been competing as a featherweight since 2013 has made the decision to test the waters at 135 pounds for his next fight.
Edgar was a vastly undersized fighter when he was the champion at 155 pounds and he’s faced similar obstacles competing at 145 pounds where he is routinely dwarfed by many of the top athletes in the division. Still, Edgar maintained his spot as one of the best featherweights in the sport, but coming off a loss to reigning champion Max Holloway in his last outing will now result in the change of divisions.
The news of Edgar’s move to 135 pounds was initially reported by ESPN.
“Excited for Frankie,” Edgar’s head coach Mark Henry said when speaking to MMA Fighting on Wednesday. “I love him first and foremost. Been wanting him to fight ‘35 since first day was introduced to the UFC. We have three other really good ‘35ers on the team, Frankie is the smallest one.
“It’s bad enough dealing with weight in a fight but when you’re dealing with height, range and weight for 15 years it’s asking a lot. When Frankie has fought guys his own height he’s done very well—Urijah [Faber], BJ [Penn], [Sean] Sherk, Cub [Swanson], Chad [Mendes]—So excited for this new chapter. Very excited!”
Henry also added one more name to the list after reigning bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo mentioned Edgar specifically as an opponent he would like to face if he ever moved to 145 pounds in the future.
“Cejudo called him out,” Henry said. “He could get his wish.”
At 37, Edgar has now been competing in the UFC for over 12 years but he has remained one of the top fighters at both lightweight and featherweight throughout his career despite being undersized in both divisions.
As Henry mentioned, Edgar already trains alongside a slew of top ranked bantamweights in his gym including recent title challenger Marlon Moraes.
Edgar has also wanted to add a second UFC championship to his resume and now he will have the opportunity to do that at 135 pounds.
As of now there’s no word on Edgar’s next fight, although his manager Ali Abdel-Aziz has mentioned the possibility of the New Jersey native competing on the upcoming UFC 244 card taking place in Madison Square Garden in New York for his bantamweight debut.
Abdel-Aziz added when speaking to MMA Fighting on Wednesday that Edgar’s move to 135 doesn’t mean he’s given up on featherweight forever.
“At this point of Frankie’s career he will pursue fun fights at 135 but also not closing the doors at 145,” Abdel-Aziz stated.