Frankie Edgar: I’m the worst matchup for Conor McGregor
Frankie Edgar figured it was a lock to receive a featherweight title shot after he knocked out Chad Mendes in the first round of their fight last weekend, but no one could have predicted what would take place just 24 hours later to put that guarantee into jeopardy.
Conor McGregor crushed former featherweight champion Jose Aldo with one punch, earning a first-round finish with a knockout just 13 seconds into the fight.
McGregor’s win threw everything into upheaval in regards to his future plans because he could remain at featherweight and give Aldo a rematch or possibly face Edgar next. Then again he’s also contemplating a move to lightweight, to battle for the title in that division.
Those options place Edgar’s title shot aspirations on shaky ground, and no one is more aware of that than the former lightweight champion.
"You’ve seen what’s happened before," Edgar told FOX Sports. "I’ve seen it slip out of my hands and slip out of others’ hands as well, so I’ve got to be ready for that. But I’m hoping for the best.
"I feel like I’ve been saying it after every post-fight interview. I’m calling Dana (White) out and everything. Last night he told me I’m getting it. He said it at the press conference that I’m next in line, and I just saw him outside the cage, ‘Conor’s going up, we don’t know what we’re going to do, or Conor might give Aldo a rematch.’ But then Conor just said he’d like to fight me possibly, so I like the latter."
He’s got one more challenge, and that’s me.
— Frankie Edgar, on Conor McGregor
Edgar has been itching for a fight with McGregor for the past year, but he still hasn’t gotten the chance to knock the Irishman off his perch.
Stylistically, Edgar believes he is the toughest possible fight for McGregor at 145 pounds, so before McGregor goes off to the lightweight division, the New Jersey native responsible for five wins in a row says the Irishman still has one fight left at featherweight.
"It’s up to Conor, it’s up to Dana, we’ll see. I think if he’s thinking about going to 155, which is another rumor, he’s got one more fight left and that’s me. I think I’m his worst matchup. I know it, I think a lot of people know it and he’s got to fight that fight before he makes that move," Edgar said.
"You see what Chad did to him on a 15-day camp. I come in prepared always and I’ll be ready."
As far as timing goes, Edgar would prefer to not wait until UFC 200 in July 2016 to fight someone like McGregor, but if that’s what it takes, he’ll gladly sit out until then. In a perfect world, Edgar would love to face McGregor in April at the proposed card in New York City, but he’s never going to turn down an opportunity to fight for the belt, whether it’s in Las Vegas, New York or even Ireland.
"I’m not going to mess around with a title shot, especially against Conor," Edgar said. "My preference is Madison Square Garden gets done and I’ll fight him in New York. That would be my preference. Wherever. It would be interesting in Ireland. It would definitely be crazy, but it would also be an experience."
The biggest message that Edgar wants to pass along to the UFC brass, as well as McGregor, is that before the champ goes challenging the fighters at 155 pounds and tries to add a second belt to his mantle, he’s not quite done eradicating all the challenges at featherweight, and until then the job isn’t complete.
"He’s got one more challenge, and that’s me," Edgar said. "(He will have) a very short title reign."