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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Frankie Edgar's decision to drop to the featherweight division wasn't one that came easy to him. After his second loss to Ben Henderson earlier this month, UFC President Dana White once more expressed his desire to see the former Champ move to the 145 lb. division, but Edgar wasn't yet ready to commit to that.
After thinking it over, however, Edgar has decided now is the time to move down.
"The fight at UFC 150 didn't go my way," said Edgar in comments made to UFC.com. "I'm not saying I'll never fight 155 ever again but this is something different. Dana wants me to go down and right now it's the right time to do it."
"I told myself I wouldn't make a decision until after the fight. I wanted to give myself a week to figure it out. I don't know if I would have felt differently if I did win the title back. You always have to give yourself some time because right after a fight emotions are always running high, win or lose.
It wasn't just White who influenced the decision, though. UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo played a small part, motivating Edgar further with some comments made to Tatame.com this week.
Said Aldo, "I'm hoping he does [drop to featherweight] to end this story. He's welcome here so that we can shut him off and he goes to the lightweight or bantamweight classes."
"That definitely helped me make my decision," Edgar responded. "I'm a competitive person and when someone talks like that it makes me want to get in there and see what '45 is all about."
While the belief from many has been that Edgar would benefit from the drop down because he wouldn't be the smallest fighter in the division, Edgar still doesn't think he'll be necessarily bigger than anyone at 145 lbs., either.
"For real I don't think I will be the bigger guy," he said. "I think these guys at '45 cut more weight than I will. I may not be dwarfed in size like some of the guys I've fought at lightweight but these '45 pounders present different challenges. By no means do I think that by going down to a different weight class I'm going to be successful right away. I think I'm still going to have solid opponents to fight."
Penick's Analysis: The potential of fighting Aldo, especially after Aldo made those comments, absolutely had to be great motivation for Edgar, and it's a fight he could work his way to in short order. It's not the same situation as Chael Sonnen, who will need a few fights at light heavyweight before getting a shot, because he was knocked out by Anderson Silva. Most felt Edgar defeated Ben Henderson in their last bout, so even though he's technically on a two fight losing streak, one win may still put him right into a title fight.
[Frankie Edgar art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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