Going into last weekend’s UFC event in Texas, Frankie Edgar was seen by many as an “X-Factor” in the UFC featherweight division.
He was certainly proven as a top-flight MMA talent, but his championship victories were all at the lightweight limit.
As Jon Anik told Caged Insider last week, “you could make the argument that he’s the number one featherweight in the world” — but was he? And would he get a chance to show it? We didn’t know.
Those days may soon be over.
Edgar enjoyed an impressive victory on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 57, dominating second-ranked featherweight contender Cub Swanson en route to a fifth round submission victory.
The bout not only snapped a six-fight winning streak for Swanson, who was said to be guaranteed a title shot against champion Jose Aldo with a win — it vaulted Edgar among the 145 lb contenders.
In an interview with MMA Junkie Radio yesterday, Edgar’s striking coach Mark Henry made the case for Edgar to receive the next shot at Aldo, describing his charge as “more qualified to be fighting for the world title than pretty much anyone else.”
Henry mentions that Edgar and Aldo fought once before, in a very close bout back at UFC 156 in 2013.
“We do really well with rematches, and Frankie’s danced with him once,” Henry said. “I’ve got so much confidence that it would be a totally different story. Nobody talks about it really, Frankie is the only one to out-strike Aldo (in the) third, fourth and fifth round. He out-struck him, bottom line.”
Some fans expect Conor McGregor to be scheduled for Aldo’s next defense, should the Irishman defeat Dennis Siver in his next bout.
“When you have a fighter like McGregor with that much hype, it tends to allow the fighter to jump the line,” Henry admits. “But if you go by results alone, and what Frankie has accomplished in the past, (including) Frankie’s last fight with Aldo, without a doubt, I think he’s more qualified to be fighting for the world title than pretty much anyone else.”