Frankie Edgar is certainly no stranger to title shot talk, due to the fact he’s a former UFC lightweight champ, has challenged for the featherweight title in the past, and remains the promotion’s #3 ranked 145’er.
Heading into his bout this Saturday with Cub Swanson, however, the consensus seems to be that Edgar likely isn’t in the running for another crack at the champion Jose Aldo. Edgar was decisioned by Aldo last February, and even if he beats Swanson, there’s the fast rising Conor McGregor to consider.
While Swanson’s been tapped to fight the ridiculously well rounded Edgar, McGregor will take on Dennis Siver, who while dangerous, does not present the wrestling challenges of other contenders, including “The Answer”. The match-up has only furthered the argument, by some critics, that McGregor hasn’t, and won’t be, really challenged at UFC Fight Night 59.
So what does Edgar think of this narrative? Well, while appearing on the latest edition of “UFC Tonight“, the featherweight had this to say about whether McGregor’s really been tested (quote via FOX Sports 1 press release):
“He’s going to be eventually, then we’ll all have the answers. There’re still lots of unknowns. He’s handling it tremendously. But he hasn’t been in deep water and hasn’t fought a wrestler yet.”
For all we know, McGregor could have outstanding takedown defense, but until he fights the likes of Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, Nik Lentz, and Edgar etc, it’s hard to say.
Heading into UFC FN 57, Dana White hasn’t really ruled out Edgar’s chances of securing a rematch, but the focus has been on Swanson and McGregor. But what if Edgar takes out Swanson, and Siver upsets McGregor? The promotion would certainly have to look at Aldo-Edgar II.
When asked to comment on the fact that Swanson will lock up a title shot if he wins Saturday, but Edgar likely won’t, the latter had this to say:
“I’m not focused on any of that. If I don’t win this fight, none of that matters. I’ve got to win this fight, then I go bug Dana about that.”
It’s going to be a fascinating fight, not only because both Swanson and Edgar are high paced and very talented fighters, but because of what’s riding on the fight. If Edgar can go out and score a clear cut victory, then the vet will be knocking on the door for a title shot, even if McGregor wins in January.
Edgar is coming off a dominant, stoppage win over BJ Penn in July, after decisioning Charles Oliveira last summer. Swanson, meanwhile, has won six straight fights.
UFC FN 57 will be hosted by the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.