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Frankie Edgar sees ‘dangerous’ Cory Sandhagen as stepping stone to climb rankings at 135

Frankie Edgar sees a golden opportunity in facing top-ranked bantamweight Cory Sandhagen.

UFC 222: Edgar v Ortega Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will welcome 2020 in his third weight class with the UFC. “The Answer” is making his bantamweight debut against number three-ranked contender Cory Sandhagen, a fight that co-headlines the UFC’s event in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 38-year-old Edgar only wants elite competition for himself, and he feels a win over Sandhagen catapults him up the ranks in the 135-pound division.

“He’s very dangerous,” Edgar said of Sandhagen in a recent episode of UFC Unfiltered (transcript by MMA Junkie). “He’s No. 3 (in the official UFC rankings), and I still want to fight the best guys in my career, and I feel like fighting No. 3 is a good way to debut at this new weight class.

“For a guy like Cory to come in and fight someone like myself is definitely good for him,” he added. But to me I’m looking at it (like) he’s No. 3, and it’s definitely a good way to get myself on a ladder in the 135-pound division.”

Edgar is used to facing much bigger opponents at 155 and 145 pounds. While he isn’t expecting to be the bigger fighter at bantamweight, he welcomes the idea of not giving up as much size anymore.

“Hopefully you don’t fight guys as long and tall,” Edgar said. “This guy I’m fighting is just as tall, so it don’t matter, but maybe I can be the bigger guy. Although I don’t think I’ll be the biggest guy at bantamweight, but I’m not going to be giving up as much size as say, 145.

“But I mean, you got to take into consideration the guys are going to be quicker down at bantamweight, as well. So it doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing 100 percent. Of course, each weight class has their own challenges.”

UFC Raleigh takes place on January 25th. The card will be headlined by a heavyweight fight between Curtis Blaydes and former champion Junior dos Santos.

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