...because I think him moving to featherweight is much better, for him, the sport, the fans, all.
The reasons being:
- It stops people saying Edgar could be the best lightweight ever - he ain't. He has been a fantastic fighter in that division, but some way off being the best ever. A win he didn't deserve vs BJ (by my card) and then a legit win over BJ (who wasn't as good as he was years earlier), a draw with Gray Maynard that he barely scraped after getting beaten to a pulp in the 1st round then a superb win over Gray (again, after getting ****ed up in the 1st), and then two consecutive losses to Ben Henderson - this does not equal being the best lightweight ever (2-2-1 since winning the title). No. When BJ was in his prime, he was dominating the shit out of the best challengers and finishing them emphatically (Sherk, Florian, Sanchez), not getting bloodied and battered by them in close fights. But anyway, to compete so well with three guys like Penn, Maynard and Henderson over a period of a few years does show that Frankie Edgar is an extremely effective fighter with a lot of great attributes, which leads me to my second point...
- Simply, Frankie Edgar will be better at 145 than he is at 155, IMO. I don't really buy all this stuff about how Frankie is tiny for a lightweight, I don't think he is. It's way overstated. He may be short, but his torso is huge and he's strong as a bull. But, if the guy can comfortably make 145 as he says he can, then he'll be even better there I would think. I think the reason that Edgar had such trouble with Maynard was that Gray's extra weight meant his punches carried more power than Frankie's chin could deal with, and especially in the first Henderson fight it was the same scenario, Frankie could easily compete with him in terms of skills, but when Ben hit him he got hurt, and he just wasn't capable of returning the favour regularly. At 145, Frankie Edgar won't be facing people who carry the same weight and strength as Gray Maynard and Ben Henderson, so you'd have to figure that Frankie's chin will hold up a lot better to the strikes of his average opponent there. And if Frankie isn't getting hurt, then he's usually winning the exchanges due to his speed, boxing skills and quick takedowns.
- The reason I'm not a fan of Frankie (at lightweight) is that he seems to go out there trying to win fights on points because he is unable to finish guys most of the time. We saw in the third Maynard fight that he does know how to finish though. If he is at feather, I bet there are a lot more finishes like in that fight, and a lot less running round the cage tippy-tapping his way to decisions. I'd love to see Edgar knocking people out with rapid combinations, always love to see good boxing in the cage. An exciting prospect.
- I know that most people will disagree, but I actually think Edgar will beat Aldo in a featherweight title fight. If I was Dana/Joe Silva, I'd make Frankie fight a #1 contender fight at 145 before getting a shot, just so he can acclimatize to the new division and prove he is effective there, maybe give him the Korean Zombie in a title eliminator while Aldo fights Koch. I'd expect Frankie to beat the Zombie and I expect Aldo to beat Koch, so I'd consider this a genuine UFC superfight. And I'd back Frankie to win. As long as he fights cautiously and intelligently through the first two rounds, I think he can wrestle Aldo to defeat down the stretch. Frankie is bigger, stronger and better than the likes of Hominick and Chad Mendes, he'd cause Aldo all sorts of problems as long as he didn't walk onto a big strike. It'd be a fascinating fight, that's for sure.
- Ben Henderson vs Nate Diaz is, for me, a more interesting, competitive fight than Edgar-Diaz. In fact, it's a fight that I really cannot wait to happen, going to be ****ing brilliant. IMO, Nate would've smashed Frankie up, this is a more even, enticing prospect.
Edgar may have got the raw end of a decision last night, but I think it was the best thing for him and for the lightweight & featherweight divisions.