Will former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar sacrifice some of his vaunted speed advantage when he drops down to featherweight?
That's among the most frequently asked questions in the wake of the announcement that Edgar will fight 145-pound champion Jose Aldo at UFC 153 on Oct. 13. And it's a query which elicits chuckles from Edgar's boxing coach, Mark Henry.
Speaking to MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Henry all but mocked the notion that his fighter would have trouble adjusting to the lower weight class.
"I love that," Henry said. "I know [Aldo's] trainers tweeted a long time ago, someone told me, that if [Edgar] comes down to 45 he's not going to have the same speed. That's beyond laughable. ... He spars with big-time boxers that are in the lighter weight classes and he keeps up with these guys, that's why it's really laughable about the speed."
"I think Jose even said he's going to lose his speed," Henry continued. "If that's their plan, they better come up with Plan B. If they think Frankie's going to be slower at 145, overnight they better come up with Plan B, C, and D. He's not going to lose any speed at all. In fact, if anything for five, seven years, we've been trying to put in his head, ‘You gotta get bigger.' We've been trying to get him to get bigger, jam foods down his throat, proteins and whatnot. He can just be comfortable at the weight that he is and be quicker instead of us trying to bulk him up all the time."
In fact, Henry re-iterated his prior claim that he believes Edgar could drop down to bantamweight without much problem if he so chose.
"He walks around at what [Dominick] Cruz and [Renan] Barao walk around at. [Mike] Easton, Urijah [Faber], they're all at the 158-160 range, and that's what Frankie walks around at. People don't realize that he's coming down in weight, but he'll be 10-12 pounds less than what Jose will be. People talk about Jose, but in my mind, Frankie does Michael Jordan-esque things. For Jose to do what Frankie does, he'd have to beat Georges St-Pierre, because he walks around at about 170, 172."
One thing's for sure: Getting a bout with Aldo, one long considered a potential champion vs. champion super fight, was been the spark Edgar and his camp needed in the wake of his controversial UFC 150 decision loss to Benson Henderson.
"It was like someone died, everyone was just crushed," Henry said of the reaction to Edgar's loss. "We thought he won. Everyone was really bummed and only a fight like this can make it go away. Once we heard about this fight, it's so exciting."