Frankie Edgar is one of the most iconic and beloved fighters in the UFC. After a lengthy career, many fans thought that he was near retirement, but instead, he decided to drop down in weight into another weight class. As a bantamweight, he’ll face the No. 3-ranked Cory Sandhagen, and Edgar may lose that fight.
Frankie Edgar’s career so far
A staple of the UFC, Edgar started his MMA career in 2005. With a record of 11-1, he challenged then-champion B.J. Penn for the lightweight title in 2010. Edgar beat Penn in a five-round decision, winning the lightweight title. He fought Penn again a few months later, and the result was the same.
Then, Edgar faced his next opponent, UFC legend Gray Maynard. Maynard fought Edgar to a draw in their first fight, but in their rematch, Edgar managed to knock Maynard out in the fourth round. Those four title fights cemented Edgar as the king of the lightweight division for years to come in the eyes of the fans, but that wasn’t so.
Edgar’s first move to a lighter weight
Frankie Edgar lost his title in his next fight against Benson Henderson, and he lost to Henderson again in their rematch. Defeated, Edgar decided to move down to featherweight, and he immediately challenged Jose Aldo for the belt. However, Edgar lost that fight, too.
Edgar remained successful as a featherweight, but he was never good enough to beat Aldo. And when Conor McGregor became champion, Edgar’s hopes of winning the belt vanished after McGregor decided to move up in weight to fight for the lightweight title.
McGregor eventually vacated the belt, and then Max Holloway became the dominant champ of the division. Edgar got his chance at the belt again, but Holloway defeated Edgar in their fight. That was when Edgar decided to move down in weight class, once again.
Frankie Edgar’s bantamweight dreams
Edgar, as MMA Junkie mentioned, has always been small for his weight class. That’s why his team always told him to move down in weight, because in featherweight and lightweight the men were just too big for Edgar to handle. Bantamweight is the 135-pound division, which is a full 20 pounds lighter than the lightweight division, the division that Edgar started in.
With this move to the bantamweight division, Frankie Edgar hopes to fight men that are his size. Edgar hopes to use his speed, skill, and experience to dominate his foes without having to worry about their size differences. However, the bantamweight division isn’t an easy division. It’s full of knockout artists and great wrestlers, such as Henry Cejudo or Dominick Cruz.
Why Edgar is destined to fail as a bantamweight
While Edgar’s shown that he can still hang with the highest level of fighters, the truth of the matter is that Edgar is 38 years old. That’s very old in MMA years, and the younger men are simply faster and stronger than he is.
On top of that, Sandhagen is not an easy target for Edgar. Sandhagen is 12-1 in his career, and he’s undefeated in the UFC. Sandhagen’s also beaten some very experienced fighters, so Frankie Edgar’s veteran guile in the octagon may not matter so much. Plus, if Edgar was looking to fight men who are his size, then Sandhagen isn’t it. Sandhagen is 5-foot-11, while Edgar is 5-6.
Even if Frankie Edgar beats Sandhagen, it’s not likely that he’ll beat the current champion. For example, former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw tried to move down in weight and win the flyweight title. Cejudo, who is the flyweight champion, knocked Dillashaw out in less than a minute. The weight cut may have affected Dillashaw’s ability to perform, and that could happen with Edgar as well.