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Frankie Edgar Still Can't Shake Suggestions of Move to Featherweight

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

You would think that at some point, Frankie Edgar will reach his breaking point and explode at the next person who asks him about a shift to the featherweight division. Most normal people by now would have snapped if they were in Edgar's shoes. No matter what he does, it never seems to be quite enough.

Beat B.J. Penn? It was a fluke. Beat him in a rematch? Prove you can beat someone else. Knock out Gray Maynard? Look at all the damage you took. Lose to Ben Henderson? See, we told you so.

That's how it's gone for Edgar.

With that in mind, it was probably too much to ask to not ask Edgar about the 145 pound weight class while in Denver for a UFC 150 press conference promoting the 155-pound championship. Perhaps it would be forgivable to bring up once. At this point, it seems mandatory. But instead, with a Henderson rematch looming, it came up over and over … and over again.

In fact, guess how long it took for the first mention?

One question. ONE.

"Frankie, is it a possibility that if you do win the belt back, that we can see you face Jose Aldo in the very near future?" a reporter asked.

"Yeah, you know, going down, I'm obviously not thinking about that right now," he said. "This fight is looming two months away. That's all I'm thinking about, is Ben and August 11 right now."

What other champion in MMA history has so often been asked about moving weight classes? Penn waffles back and forth between lightweight and welterweight with little mention aside from how he performs, but little is made of how ridiculously undersized he is for the bigger class, and Randy Couture fought heavyweights while at 220 pounds, a size which some middleweights reach between fights. Edgar has arguably been more successful than either of them while fighting undersized, yet the scrutiny for him never stops.

It doesn't help that UFC president Dana White seems to bring it up at every mention of Edgar's name. While the narrative of an undersized fighter succeeding at a higher weight class may help to build his legacy, it's also a bit overdone as a debate point. Edgar chooses to fight as a lightweight; that is how he should be judged.

As it stands, he has nothing to apologize for or even explain. And anyway, it's not exactly a given that just because he moves to a lighter weight class, he'll dominate. That's not how things work. Even White -- who also made generous mention of Edgar's heart and -- talent could admit that.

"How do I know? I don't know. But if I think he's that great at 155, imagine how strong and explosive he'd be at 145?" he asked.

But still, White couldn't contain himself from taking it even further, wondering aloud whether Edgar would even possibly consider moving to featherweight if he were to regain the lightweight belt from Henderson.

"When he doesn't have the title, he doesn't want to go to 145," he said. "When he's got it, you think he's going to go to 145? No. Let's stop this because he's seriously going to kick my ass. No more 145-pound questions for Frankie Edgar today, please."

With the cease-fire called, that would be it right? No more "Frankie for featherweight" campaigning at a press-conference designed to sell a lightweight title match? Ha, please. You should know better by now.

It took all of six minutes and 16 seconds to get one last parting shot in.

White was asked about the possibility of signing the former Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, and after he said he was interested, Edgar was asked if he would fight Alvarez, given that they regularly train together. Edgar, of course, said he was only thinking about fighting Henderson right now.

"So, Frankie would move to 145," White said.

Like the rest of the press conference's attendees, the mild-mannered Edgar laughed. In his shoes, it's easy to wonder if the rest of us would think it was quite so funny.

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