With Conor McGregor moving up to face Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 197 in March, Frankie Edgar finds himself needing to wait for McGregor’s return to the division.
However, McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh argues this week, in an article penned for Ireland’s The 42, that Edgar’s going to get his shot just as soon as he would have with Jose Aldo at the helm.
“No matter who Conor’s next opponent was going to be, people would complain,” Kavanagh wrote. “There’s no getting away from that. There are boxes to be ticked and, by the time Conor retires, he’ll have addressed them all. But they can’t all be done at the drop of a hat. We can only take it one at a time. Rafael dos Anjos is next. After that, maybe Frankie Edgar will get his chance at UFC 200 on 9 July. We’ll see.
“I know Frankie is eager to get his shot, and he will,” Kavanagh continued. “It’s not unusual for a champion to wait until the summertime to defend their belt — there are plenty of recent examples — so perhaps that’s when Frankie’s time will come. Look at this as a warm-up fight, albeit a dangerous one against the lightweight champion. Conor could fight Frankie in the summer, but in the meantime he’s taking another fight.
“On average, Jose Aldo defended the featherweight title once every seven months. It would be a seven-month gap between Conor’s fight with Frankie, but I don’t recall Jose having to deal with the same amount of accusations of holding the division up. This might not be the case for other fighters, but due to Conor’s level of activity, he can afford to hold two belts and defend them regularly.”
Penick’s Analysis: Provided McGregor stays injury-free, and remains successful in the cage, then Kavanagh’s right. If he wants to fight multiple times a year and hop up and down in weight, the UFC’s likely going to be up for that, because his continued success will allow them to essentially print money. He’s got to get past dos Anjos, and that’s so very far from certain, but if he does that, defending both belts will be something he can absolutely do. It does seem the plan, should McGregor win – and perhaps even if he doesn’t – in March, will be for that McGregor-Edgar fight. For Edgar’s sake, hopefully his time finally comes.
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