In his bantamweight debut, Frankie Edgar proved that his coach was right all along. His fight with Pedro Munhoz could have gone either way. Regardless, the 38-year old veteran showed that he could stand his ground against top tier competition at 135-pounds.
A former lightweight champion, Edgar fought all five rounds of the scheduled headliner against Pedro Munhoz. While he was always tough, Edgar looked quicker than usual. His longtime boxing coach/head coach Mark Henry had always wanted his protege to drop down to bantamweight. This was even before ‘The Answer’ went down to featherweight.
It can be argued that the move should have come earlier. Nonetheless, better late than never. Edgar’s recent resume was against him and it seemed highly unlikely that he would ever get a shot at the featherweight belt again. However, with a win over top-five ranked Munhoz, Edgar has opened the door for a title shot at bantamweight.
UFC President Dana White said that only a couple of fights may stand between Edgar and a title shot. He added that it depends on how he performs the next time he enters the Octagon.
The UFC bantamweight division is one of the most loaded divisions of the UFC currently. Consequently, Edgar wouldn’t have a hard time finding a worthy challenger. A fight that makes a lot of sense for him is against former featherweight champ and bantamweight challenger Jose Aldo.
The Brazilian is 0-2 in the division. However, the first of those two losses was a debatable split decision loss to Marlon Moraes. The second one was against the current 135-pound kingpin Petr Yan at UFC 251. Edgar and Aldo also have a bit of history between themselves. The two have fought twice with Aldo winning both the times.
However, that was at 145-pounds. In a lower weight class, Edgar can look to capitalize more on his speed. He will have to watch out for Aldo’s leg kicks. It was the same leg kicks by Munhoz that created all sorts of trouble for Edgar lately.
Another fight that makes sense for Edgar is against former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. The latter is coming off a loss against Henry Cejudo. However, the stoppage could have been a bit delayed by the referee in that fight. Regardless, if Cruz remains injury-free, a fight between the two veterans could be something that the fans would look forward to.
At the end of the day, it is up to the UFC’s matchmakers and Edgar and his time regarding what fight they want to go with. ‘The Answer’ should plan his steps very wisely. If he manages to hit the right buttons, he may have one last shot at his second UFC gold.
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