Originally, Frankie Edgar was expected to get a crack at Max Holloway and the UFC featherweight title at UFC 222 back in March. When Holloway was forced out of the bout with an injury, however, Edgar instead fought late-notice replacement Brian Ortega, who knocked him out in the first round.
Having sustained this tough knockout loss, Edgar’s featherweight title dreams were briefly dashed, while Ortega earned the chance to battle Holloway for gold at UFC 226 this July. Luckily, however, Edgar was able to rebound with an April win over Cub Swanson, and now appears to be on the cusp of a title shot once again. In fact, UFC President Dana White says Edgar is the next man in line for that shot, and that he could also be called on if Holloway or Ortega is forced off the UFC 226 bill.
“If you look at Frankie Edgar right now, the guy’s ranked number three in the world,” White said on a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (transcribed by Milan Ordoñez for Bloody Elbow). “He’s still right in there, and you know how sh-t happens in this business, man.”
“Ortega’s next, but imagine if anything happens to those guys and Frankie stays in shape, he could absolutely dive in there for a title shot. You never know what’s gonna happen.”
White then showered Edgar with praise, commending him for taking his high-risk battle with Ortega when he’d already earned a title shot.
“He’s a fucking stud,” White said. “That’s what you do. When you’re a professional fighter and you believe you’re one of the best in the world, you fight anybody. And that’s what he did, he took the fight with Ortega.”
“It ain’t like the old days, man,” he added. “Back when Matt Serra and those guys were fighting. It’s a different world now, and a lot of these guys just want to fucking sit out and wait because they have the money to do it. And I respect the guys that step up like Frankie Edgar, and that’s why people love Frankie Edgar. He stepped up and took a fight when he didn’t have to and he did, and that’s why people love him.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/9/2018.