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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Though many have called for Frankie Edgar to make a move to 145 after a close decision loss to Ben Henderson on Saturday at UFC 144, it's not happening just yet. Edgar and Henderson fought for 25 full minutes in Japan, with Henderson swaying the judges to scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 49-46; however, there was a wide variance of scores online and in the building, and Edgar believes a rematch is in order.
According to his manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, that's just what they're going to ask for from the UFC.
"Frankie deserves a rematch," Abdel-Aziz said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com. "We're going to ask for a rematch. I talked to Lorenzo [Fertitta] and he believes Frankie scored 3 to 2, Dana White scored Frankie winning the fight."
With two of the UFC's power players seeing things in his favor, a rematch might be easier to procure, but White has already stated that he thinks Anthony Pettis will probably get the next shot. Still, no decision has yet been made, and there's time for Edgar to plead his case for a rematch. One thing's for sure, though: while he may yet move to 145 lbs. in the future, Saturday's fight won't be the catalyst for that move.
"Frankie in the future will go down to 145, but he's not going to go down now, he's not," Abdel-Aziz said. "He's not getting manhandled, he's not getting destroyed, he won the fight."
"Frankie's not the type of guy to lose and then just cower and move to 145. This kid has so much heart and determination."
Penick's Analysis: It would obviously be much easier for the UFC if Edgar wanted to move to featherweight, because they could easily plug him into a fight with Jose Aldo and make the Pettis-Henderson rematch. Edgar isn't under any obligation to make that move, though. He's in a different situation slightly than both B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard, who earned immediate rematches with him, though, muddying up the situation further. Penn got his rematch because most felt Edgar did NOT win their first bout, and that the long-reigning Champ had gotten screwed in Abu Dhabi. Edgar cleared that up when he won all five rounds in the rematch, but again Penn got it because of a controversial decision. Maynard got the immediate rematch because neither of them won that fight last January. The difference now is this decision loss to Henderson wasn't nearly as controversial as the first Penn fight. There was reasonable evidence through the fight to give Henderson up to four rounds, and though Edgar had a claim for three of the rounds, it wasn't close enough to have it be a complete outrage. A rematch may still be warranted, but he didn't get screwed out of his belt, and that makes the UFC's decision much more difficult to make.
[Frankie Edgar art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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