UFC 144 Results: Frankie Edgar Doesn't 'Need' To Drop To Featherweight

Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com

Frankie Edgar is 14-2-1 in his career, he holds wins over Jim Miller, Tyson Griffin, Mark Bocek, Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk, BJ Penn (twice) and Gray Maynard. He last a close, competitive fight that many feel he deserved the decision win in last night at UFC 144 to Benson Henderson. Why then, is everyone suddenly pushing for him to drop to featherweight?

Brett Okamoto wrote an article on ESPN about Edgar's "need" to drop weight based around the idea that he was "just too small for this fight." Why? Was the problem that Clay Guida was too small to beat Henderson? Because Edgar managed to score 5 takedowns on 12 attempts, that's better than Guida's 2 on 9. Where was the demand that Clay drop in weight following that loss?

As a point of reference, Edgar's 5 takedowns equal the number of times Henderson was taken down in his previous four bouts combined, on three less attempts.

And what did we hear all night as the moment that changed the fight? It was Henderson being taken down and Edgar getting a bit careless and being hit by an upkick. It wasn't Frankie being relentlessly ragdolled around. And yeah, Henderson had a reach advantage, but it didn't lead to anything like Henderson blowing him out in the striking department.

One fight ago it was Edgar knocking out Maynard, a giant 155'er. Before Maynard it was two straight wins over Penn, a guy who was once a UFC champion at 170 pounds. Why wasn't he too small to pull that off?

I understand the concept that Edgar is small for 155. The problem is that I don't believe that he is too small for lightweight. His success thus far would be an indicator that he is not. Some fighters are more comfortable when they're not trying to cut a significant amount of weight. If he feels that he wants to stay at lightweight, I don't see any reason to try to convince him that 145 is where he needs to be.

The truth is, people were going to write articles and talk about Edgar needing to drop to 145 as soon as he lost. He could have beat Henderson, beat Pettis and beat the Nate Diaz/Jim Miller winner and if he lost his next fight the talk would have automatically gone to him being too small for the weight.

If Edgar wants to drop to featherweight I'd be thrilled to see it, but there's no guarantee that he'll be successful at the weight. Speed has been a big factor for him and will be less so against featherweights. Power also doesn't necessarily get more thunderous as you cut weight. Some guys carry power up or down in weight, other guys just don't.

The idea that he's more suited to featherweight is really based on nothing more than the idea that he isn't a big lightweight and, for some reason, that has really been bothering me.

When and if Frankie and his team decide that they want to give 145 a try, I'll be there to watch. But I think we all need to stop demanding that it happen and maybe let the guy get the rematch that he's granted to two challengers before this fight.

More UFC 144 coverage here at Bloody Elbow:

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