Once upon a time, a spry young whirlwind named Frankie Edgar won our hearts because he’d take a massive amount of punishment and yet still manage to outlast opponents for the win. He earns the lightweight belt in this manner, which made us love him even more.
Eventually, though, the scale began tipping the other way, and those wins he’d once hustled turned into decisions in the other guys’ favor. Then he went down a weight class, got a title shot, and lost a decision to champ Jose Aldo.
You’d think the story would end there, with Edgar easing into a groove as a member of the featherweight elite but never really a viable contender, but no, our hero flipped the script. Now he fights with the same never-ending intensity, but he’s become flawless in his defense. Now, opponents can’t touch him, and he wears them down to little nubs of flailing arms and broken spirits.
We saw this yesterday in the five rounds Edgar put forth against Urijah Faber. We saw this in the bout where Edgar put away top challenger Cub Swanson. We’ve pretty much been seeing this in every outing since Edgar went down to featherweight. Whatever holes there were in his game before, they seem to be gone, replaced by the kind of movement most people associate with the wind.
Dammit, give Edgar his title shot.
It is 100% understandable why Conor McGregor is facing Aldo next, as the Irishman has made what was once a throwaway weight class into must-see TV. But in terms of deserving a crack at the belt, no one beats out Edgar in that regard. He’s become the most worthy in a sea of guys who were worthy before they crossed Edgar’s path.
Regardless of who wins when McGregor and Aldo meet at UFC 189 in July, give Edgar next. He’s done enough.