Dana White really wants Frankie Edgar to drop to featherweight.
So much so in fact, Dana told MMA Junkie yesterday that he’s willing to give Edgar an immediate title shot against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo despite the fact that Edgar’s never fought at 145. The problem of course is that Edgar wants an immediate rematch with Ben Henderson in a heavily clogged division. It’s not that Dana doesn’t think he deserves it. It’s just that it’s making the whole situation a “nightmare.”
“Here’s the thing: I really care about this kid,” White told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “I like him a lot. There’s only so many wars you can have in your career, and I hate – hate, hate, hate – guys fighting out of their weightclass. He did it because he had to do it because there was no other weightclass, and you can’t deny a guy a way to make a living. But I would love to see him at 145. I can’t tell him where to go, but I can [expletive] heavily persuade him.”
“We still have (Nate) Diaz and (Jim) Miller fighting on FOX,” White said. “That weight division is so stacked, and there’s so many guys in line. I have a lot of different feelings about the rematch. First and foremost, I feel like Frankie Edgar absolutely deserves one, seeing as how every fight this guy’s fought, he’s given everybody else a rematch. And I don’t want him to fight at 155 pounds. I want him to go to 145 and fight for that title. If we do give him a rematch, it clogs up – there’s other guys that are there waiting. It’s just a big mess, man. Controversy sucks. I like fights that are clean clear, we know who won.”
“I don’t know. This whole thing’s a nightmare, and we’ll see what happens.”
Dana White certainly has a dilemma on his hands, at least as long as Edgar wants to stay at 155. He has plenty of contenders to work with in the lightweight division, but no one to fight Jose Aldo in the featherweight division.
I’m not necessarily opposed to Frankie getting an immediate rematch, but at the same time, I do want the division to keep moving, especially with a potentially awesome rematch between Ben Henderson and Anthony Pettis on the horizon. Which by the way is getting more interesting by the day as the tension continues to build. For instance, check out what Pettis’ manager just MMA Fighting. Apparently, Pettis is getting pretty fired up over those comments Bendo made about him not being first in line for his title.
“He’s heard some stuff that Ben Henderson has said in the last couple days that really got under his skin,” he said. “Ben has said some things basically implying that Anthony is beneath him and he has to do all this stuff to work his way back to a title shot. He keeps referring to him like, ‘I see you. You’re doing big things. One day…’ And Anthony’s like, ‘Wait a minute. I just beat you over a year ago. I put your face on ESPN for a year and you’re talking like you’re so much ahead of me.’ It got under Anthony’s skin a little bit.”
“Anthony was thinking, ‘Ben should want this rematch more than anything,'” he said. “He said if he would’ve lost like that, he would’ve wanted it. He’s perturbed because he just keeps implying that Anthony is so much beneath him. He respects the fact that he won the belt and Anthony was glad that he won the fight, but he’s a little perturbed that Ben keeps talking like Anthony is so far beneath him.”
I’m not sure if that’s how Henderson meant it, but it sure came across that way. You can’t really blame Pettis for being upset about it. After all, he did decisively beat Henderson in their WEC title fight and capped it off with the most spectacular kick ever. And it’s not like so much time has passed that that fight doesn’t mean anything anymore.
I’m not really sure who “deserves” the rematch more, Edgar or Pettis, but I do think there is something a little more alluring about Henderson-Pettis 2 than Henderson-Edgar 2.