Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has a tremendous opportunity Saturday night at UFC 156 when he steps inside the Octagon with Jose Aldo.
By defeating Aldo, Edgar will secure the UFC featherweight title and join Randy Couture and BJ Penn as the only fighters in UFC history to be multi-division champs.
While Edgar hasn’t had the best of luck lately, let us assume “The Answer” finds a way to solve Aldo and win this weekend. Where does that take the New Jersey fighter? Does he begin ruling the 145 pounders and working his way right back into talk concerning the best pound-for-pounders in the world?
1. Become an elite fighter again
There is no denying the resume of Edgar, as he holds victories over BJ Penn (twice) and Gray Maynard. However, the two losses to Benson Henderson dropped him out of the elite.
But, with a victory over Aldo, Edgar will quickly ascend right back into the ranks alongside the likes of Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre and others.
Edgar has all the tools necessary to provide Aldo with his biggest test ever, as he is a sound wrestler with heavy, heavy hands – just ask Maynard, who trained with Aldo for several weeks in preparation for this bout.
Defeat Aldo, a man many view as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and Edgar will have wiped away a 2012 that saw him go 0-2.
2. Challenge Benson Henderson in a champion vs. champion match
This would be the ultimate for Edgar, as he would be coming off a victory over Aldo and have an open mic to say what he wants next.
Would the UFC even think about placing Edgar and Henderson together again? Doubtful, as Henderson is currently locked in a match with Gilbert Melendez and has Anthony Pettis to worry about.
But, just the thought of a third meeting with Henderson has to get Edgar salivating. He felt he won both previous fights, and by calling out the champion, Edgar would be in the same position as a former opponent of his – BJ Penn – when he went after GSP.
3. Become the greatest featherweight champion ever
Edgar has stated that the drop to 145 has caused him little issue. In fact, he says he’s enjoyed it more than training at lightweight.
Where would Edgar go if he were to defeat Aldo in the division? There are currently several options out there.
Ricardo Lamas is coming off a pair of impressive victories and wants a title match. Chan Sung Jung has been on the sidelines, but is viewed as a potential contender. And, given Edgar’s track record in competing around the world, he’s likely to push a card to strong numbers anywhere it takes place.
While the featherweight division is still looking to garner as much mainstream attention as the other “bigger” weight classes, having a champion the caliber of Edgar promoting it would make that jump a little bit easier.
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