Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was one of the UFC's standby men for Jose Aldo or Conor McGregor at UFC 189. Given the frequency of injuries in MMA, the UFC needed a backup plan for the possibility of McGregor or Aldo pulling out of the bout at the last minute. It was reigning champion Jose Aldo who withdrew from the main event due to a rib injury just two weeks' out from the main event, and Frankie Edgar was waiting for the UFC's call.
But so was Chad Mendes and Nate Diaz. In the end, the UFC selected Mendes as the best candidate for the job, and it was 'Money' who battled with Conor McGregor for the interim featherweight title. McGregor TKO'd Mendes in the second round and is expected to lock horns with 'Scarface' in a title unification bout at UFC 194 on December 12th.
Given Mendes' most recent and third championship loss at UFC 189, it's expected that Frankie Edgar will be to go-to man if Aldo vs. McGregor sees another devastating injury. 'The Answer' believes the fight will go ahead this time but he's keeping himself in shape if things don't go to plan.
"I'm hoping to fight around that time, anyway," Edgar told Severe MMA's Andrew McGahon in Bahrain. "Then I don't have to worry about it. I'll be in camp anyway if something comes up. I really do think [Aldo and McGregor] are going to fight this time around, but you never know. I was ready to jump in on 15 days notice. No matter what I'll be ready to go again."
Since losing to Jose Aldo at UFC 156 in 2013, The New Jersey-based fighter has amassed a four-fight win streak, beating top contenders Charles Oliveira, B.J. Penn, Cub Swanson and Urijah Faber. While Edgar is expected to face another contender in December, the former champ believes he's already #1 in the division.
"I think I should be the guy, no matter what," said Edgar. "I do want to fight again. I don't want to wait until [Aldo and McGregor] fight and then how many months after that. I've got to take care of business but I believe I am the No. 1 contender."
While the Toms River native originally picked Jose Aldo to win in dominating fashion at UFC 189, he believes after seeing McGregor triumph over Mendes, the bout will be much more competitive.
"When I was asked this before the first fight was supposed to happen I said there were some unknowns about McGregor," said Edgar. "I went with Aldo. I thought Aldo would win and I'm still going to give him the nod but I think it's going to be more competitive than I expected."
Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at UFC 194 on December 12th.