Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was once again unsuccessful in capturing featherweight gold. “The Answer” lost to current 145-pound king Max Holloway via unanimous decision at UFC 240 on Saturday, bringing back talks of a possible drop to bantamweight.
During a backstage interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto right after the fight, he revealed why it never happened.
“I was only a little guy growing up and it didn’t matter,” he said. “I want to show my kid (size) doesn’t matter. But you get to high-level guys and it does sometimes. I don’t know. I don’t know what I’mma do yet.”
But according to his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach Ricardo Almeida, it’s a conversation they’ve been having for a while now.
“We’ve been talking about this for a while, telling him to move down to 135 pounds, but he never really wanted it, he was never really interested,” Almeida told MMA Fighting. “What Frankie wants is to be the best in the world. Frankie wants to win this second belt. And if he sees a path to get to that belt in that weight class, I’m sure he would really consider it. And I think he’d probably have that path.
“It doesn’t make sense for him to go down just for a fight, but if it’s for a title run and become champion again, I think everyone wants to see that. It would be incredible to see him fighting (Henry) Cejudo, (T.J.) Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz, all those beasts in that weight class — except for Marlon (Moraes) [laughs].”
Almeida pointed out the stark differences during sparring sessions, and how Edgar would fare against bigger training partners compared to those his own size.
“You can see the difference in Frankie’s ability when he can use his reach,” he explained. “Against Zabit, he has to keep moving forward the entire time to close the distance. Against Marlon, it’s back-and-forth with them throwing combinations.
“It’s an incredible ‘fight’, both are excellent fighters, but it’s more normal than fighting someone who’s so bigger than you. You’re getting hit in a distance you can’t hit them back, something that happened a few times in this fight with Holloway.”
The 37-year-old Edgar dropped to a record of 23-7-1 (with 11 wins by stoppage).