Frankie Edgar is currently set to take on Urijah Faber at UFC Fight Night: Manila in a bout with serious title implications. Edgar is already ranked as the #1 featherweight in the world, but a win could actually open up doors to title shots in two different divisions.
Apart from being the obvious candidate for a bout against the winner of Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, a win in Manila could also set up a bout against Faber’s teammate T.J. Dillashaw. After all, a bantamweight title bout has already been offered to Edgar before.
“I weigh around ’58 to ’62. It’s probably doable,” Edgar told BloodyElbow.com about a potential drop to bantamweight. “But I just don’t know how I’d react and how I’d perform the next day. It’s good to have at my back pocket if I ever do want to go down, or a fight comes up that makes things interesting, but right now, my focus is at featherweight.”
“I’m not all too worried about story lines,” he said about a potentially more marketable bout against Dillashaw. A rematch against Aldo may not be a ‘fresh’ match up to some fans, but for Edgar, trying to erase the tough loss from 2013 is still the main goal.
“I think Aldo holds that mystique as he has been on top for so long. If I can be the guy who takes it from him, that would be more rewarding,” he states. “Right now, a featherweight title shot (would appeal more than one at bantamweight). It’s the weight class I’m in, and I was very close to getting that title a couple of years back, so I want another crack at it.”
Speed Kills: Faber breaks down match up vs Edgar
In part one of BloodyElbow.com’s interview with ‘The California Kid’, Urijah Faber breaks down the match up against Frankie Edgar and the difference between fighting at 135 and 145 lbs.
Aldo of course is defending his belt against Conor McGregor, a popular figure who could bring a renewed interest in the division. While he’d be happy to get a title shot regardless, Edgar did admit to having a preference on how that bout plays out.
“I haven’t really been seeking out McGregor. If he wins and gets that title, then he’s the guy I want, but it would be better for me if I take it from Aldo.”
All of this talk about Aldo obviously wouldn’t materialize unless he wins that headliner against Faber in Manila. Edgar knows this, and he’s planning on putting a stamp on things in front of the Filipino crowd.
“I train hard for every fight. I train to fight the best world every time, and that’s what I’m going to do for this one,” he exclaims. “I think the fans are really going to be excited with what me and Urijah are going to bring. You can see, just being here for a day, how passionate the Filipino fans are.”
“I think my ground and pound is something that I’ve added recently. Maybe (I can also win by) submission,” he said. “He’s definitely a guy that takes the back well and goes for guillotines, but that’s one of my strengths that a lot of people don’t know about just yet.”
Edgar knows that Faber is a durable and resilient guy, and those are traits that the New Jersey native prides himself with as well. Edgar has never been finished in his career, and as he takes on an similarly gritty opponent, he’s prepared for a rough contest that can lead to another showcase of ‘heart’ he has been known for.
“It’s not going to happen,” Edgar says about Faber looking to hand him his first stoppage loss. “He has to go in there and believe that as a fighter, but I don’t think Urijah is the guy to do that to me.”
“When you know how much you’ve trained and put in this over the years, it’s harder to give up on something,” he states. “If I came in there and maybe trained twice a week, and I was getting beat up in the cage, maybe I’d be like ‘ah, screw this’, but knowing that I’ve sacrificed so much, I’m willing to almost die in there.”
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