Following a close decision in the main event at UFC 144 between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson, UFC President Dana White has been vocal about Edgar and his future. But it has not been about Edgar receiving a rematch. Instead, it has been about White’s desire to see Edgar drop to featherweight and fight at the weight class he feels Edgar is more suited for.
During the UFC on FX 2 pre-fight press conference, White spoke at length concerning his desire for Edgar to move down.
“This guy’s fighting with 155 pounders, guys that are cutting from 170 pounds plus, and they’re always so much bigger than him,” White said. “The guy has absolute wars and pulls out decisions that are so controversial every time. I don’t want him at 155 pounds. I want him to go to 145 and fight for that title. Plus if we do give him a rematch, it clogs up…there’s other guys that are in line waiting. It’s just a big mess. Controversy sucks. I like fights that are clean, clear, we know who won.”
Unfortunately for White, he has not received that often enough from Edgar over the past few years. Even though he won the title against BJ Penn in April 2010, Penn was given a rematch because of how close the first fight was. Edgar then fought Gray Maynard to a draw in January 2011, which forced another rematch for Edgar. While Edgar does not see the close decisions in Edgar’s fights as mistakes, it certainly is not making it any easier for him.
“Normally when there is a bad decision, I’ll be the first guy to say it,” explained White. “But then there is a case like Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson, where it was split down the middle, and so many people think one guy won and many think the other guy won. That’s always gonna happen. You’re gonna have those fights that are considered controversial. Sitting there that night, I thought Frankie Edgar won the fight. Lorenzo [Fertitta] flew back to Las Vegas and texted me that he re-watched the fight and thought Ben won the fight.”
Concerning a third rematch in three years for Edgar, White is conflicted, stating “I have a lot of different feelings about the rematch. First and foremost, I feel like Frankie Edgar absolutely deserves one seeing as how every fight this guy’s fought, he’s given everybody else a rematch. ”
But that does not mean White is not going to talk with Edgar and try and persuade the former lightweight champion to drop to featherweight. White knows he has an exciting title fight he could have at featherweight, and he is making it obvious how badly he wants to make it.
“Frankie Edgar walks straight into a title shot [at featherweight],” White declared. “If I’m going to deny him the rematch for the 155-pound title, and I’m going to make him move to 145 and say, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna have to fight a couple fights first to get the title.’ Does that sound right? No.”
For now, it seems Edgar is set on staying at lightweight, and is going to tell anyone that listens that he deserves a rematch with Henderson. But looking into what White has said over the past few days, it seems Edgar has a better chance of fighting for the title at 145 pounds than at 155 pounds.
“I think Jose Aldo (current UFC featherweight champion) is awesome,” White said. “I think he’s pound for pound one of the best in the world. So is Frankie Edgar, and there’s nothing more fun than when guys are both at the same weight and go in there and fight.”