Two losses to Benson Henderson have sent the former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar down to the featherweight division. Edgar made three title defenses before losing his belt to Ben Henderson at UFC 144 and the rematch at UFC 150. Ever since Edgar defeated BJ Penn back at UFC 112, talk has centered more around him at the 145 pound division than the division he had held the belt in.
The official news of the move down in weight came last night on the UFC Tonight from Ariel Helwani. Frankie Edgar confirmed the move today on the UFC website, stating, “Dana wants me to go down and right now it’s the right time to do it.” Current featherweight champion Jose Aldo probably made the decision that much easier with his recent comments regarding Edgar
Frankie Edgar now leaves the stacked, log jammed confines of the lightweight division for the talent rich, yet more wide-open featherweight division. An immediate title shot is probably not in the cards but Edgar shouldn’t have to wait long if he has a successful featherweight debut. The champion (Aldo) is set to make his fourth defense of his UFC featherweight against Erik Hock on October 13th at UFC 153 but most of the top contenders in the division are coming off recent wins, leaving the UFC with plenty of option for Edgar.
Ricardo Lamas: After defeating the man many considered the #2 featherweight in the world in Hatsu Hioki, Lamas now finds himself near the top of the division. The win improved his UFC record to 3-0 and a fight with Frankie Edgar would be a good barometer for both fighters.
Chad Mendes: Rebounding from his first round loss to Aldo at UFC 142, Mendes looked impressive at last months UFC 148 when he knocked out Cody McKenzie with a first round body shot. Mendes would pose a serious test for Edgar but The thought of these two fighting simply cry’s out to be a five round non-title bout.
Chan Sung Jung: The Korean Zombie last fought on May 15th where he defeated Dustin Poirier to claim his spot as the #1 featherweight contender. With the Aldo vs. Koch fight getting postponed due to injury Jung has been on the self waiting for the winner to emerge. Unless the UFC mixes things up and puts him against Edgar for the title shot expect Jung to face the winner of the UFC 153 main event in Late December / early 2013.
The UFC can go in many different directions with Edgar in his featherweight debut and they all look pretty darn good on paper. Welcome to the featherweight division Frankie Edgar!