Frankie Edgar has earned the right to decide what weight he wants to fight at

5627101358 073120a313 zFollowing his loss to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 it seems like Frankie Edgar is feeling some pressure to drop down to the 145 pound division to face Featherweight champion Jose Aldo.

Some of that pressure is being exerted from fans, but some of it is coming from a man that has a good amount of say in Edgar’s career, UFC President Dana White. Following Edgar’s loss, White spoke to’s Ariel Helwani and said, “I would love to see Frankie move down to 145, I’ve been saying that forever, he seems reluctant to do it, but, we’ll see what happens.”  When pressed as to why he thought Edgar was reluctant to drop, White continued, “Because he’s been one of the best forever at 155. It’s tough to tell a guy that’s been dominating at a weight division, ‘you should move down.’”

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White is correct, Edgar has been dominating at 155 for a long while, running up a record of 14-2-1 while fighting at a weight that is very close to his walking around weight. With just two career losses it’s hard to see the pressure as warranted.  It’s not like Henderson, a much bigger fighter, walked through Edgar at UFC 144, but yet here we are, hearing that the man that was champion from April 2010 through February 2012 should drop a weight class.

Perhaps the reasoning is that there is no one at 145 that can challenge current champion Jose Aldo. If that’s the case and Edgar drops and beats Aldo, who would be there to challenge Edgar after he became champion? On the other hand if Edgar loses, where does that leave him?  Would he go back up to 155 and fight his way back through the ranks or would he stay at 145 and work his way back to a title shot there?  It’s almost as if Edgar is in a no win situation. 

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If he stays at 155 does he get an immediate rematch like he gave BJ Penn and Gray Maynard or does he face the prospect of fighting his way back to the top ranked contender spot?  If he will receive an immediate rematch he should stay at 155.  If he losses that rematch then he should think about dropping. Even with another loss it’s not like it would be a slam-dunk for him to make that decision. 

Edgar has been reluctant to think about dropping weight in the past and he’ll probably remain reluctant after losing to Henderson, after all Henderson took “his” title and that’s going to be something that Edgar is going to focus on, much in the same way that Quinton Jackson still refers to the light heavyweight crown as “his.” 

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It’s hard to say what Edgar will do, but one thing is certain, he should be allowed to make that decision on his own, based on what he wants to do.  He’s earned that right.

Further Reading: UFC 144 Recap: Benson Henderson leaves Japan as the new UFC Lightweight Champion