Frankie Edgar (pictured), the ultimate UFC company man if there ever was one, now feels that he’s been brushed aside given the UFC’s undying devotion for golden boy Conor McGregor.
Edgar has been aggressively campaigning for a tango with McGregor ever since he captured the featherweight title in November at UFC 193. But as luck would have it, when the UFC was desperately scouring its roster for a replacement for injured lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos to face McGregor on 11 days’ notice at UFC 196, Edgar has been inactive for the past month due to a torn groin.
However, that’s not the pictured UFC president Dana White painted late Tuesday night when he said Edgar “turned down” the offer that eventually went to Nate Diaz.
“Let me tell you, there was a long list of people that said they wanted to fight Conor McGregor,” White said on SportsCenter. “We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down. We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down.”
Oh naw he didn’t…
“I’m flying myself to Vegas on my own dime to lobby to get a fight with [McGregor] and now here comes the opportunity, and I’m hurt and I can’t take it,” an agitated Edgar told MMAFighting.com. “I haven’t done anything in four weeks. I didn’t just pull my groin, I tore it. I sent Dana and everyone in the UFC my MRI.”
Hold on, Edgar’s just getting warmed up.
“I’m even more pissed that Dana’s insinuating that I ‘refused’ to take this fight, which is bullsh*t,” Edgar said. “Just because they asked me doesn’t mean they were going to give it to me because guess what, in July they asked me to take the [UFC 189] fight on 15 days’ notice, which of course I accepted, and I still didn’t get it.
“I have a feeling that if I had said ‘yes,’ if [my manager] had texted back ‘yes,’ that fight still would have went to Nate Diaz. I think Nate Diaz was the fight they were trying to make since the beginning. From what I hear they contacted Nate even before they contacted me. But now Dana wants to go around saying that I ‘refused ‘to take this fight, and I don’t know if he’s going to try to use it against me in the future when another opportunity comes up where I can fight for the belt, and he’s going to say, ‘well, you had your opportunity and you said no.’”
For years Edgar was considered by outsiders as one of “Dana’s guys.” It wasn’t just because Edgar fights with all heart, particularly when the undersized “Answer” won and defended the UFC lightweight title against bigger opponents, but his anytime, anywhere, any place mentality really won White over.
And now, for whatever reason, White is throwing an injured Edgar under the bus.
“I feel like my integrity is something that I’ve built over the years and I’ve been such a good guy to the UFC, and then they’re going to throw me under the bus like I ‘refused’ to take this fight,” he said. “I would take that fight in a heartbeat, even if I wasn’t training. If I was healthy enough, I would absolutely take that fight..
“And this is what my team was pissed at. This dude, they were going to let this guy hold the 145-pound title, go up to 55, now two weight classes are being held up. And now they’re saying he’s going to go up to 70. This is a circus. The ‘C’ in UFC stands for Conor. This guy runs the show.”
Edgar threw one final jab at his bosses by insinuating they handpick opponents that they believe their cash cow can beat. Similarly like when they chose an out of shape Chad Mendes to face McGregor for the interim featherweight belt at UFC 189, when a ready-to-go Edgar submitted his application for the spot.
“And [Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone] offered his services. Why didn’t they go with Cowboy? Cowboy was fresh off a camp. He’s in shape, no injuries. They decide to go with a guy like Nate who can’t even make 155, so how much training has he been doing? I don’t understand why they picked the guy who’s probably not ready for the fight. Why not pick a guy like Cowboy who seems to be ready for it? It sounds fishy to me.”
McGregor and Diaz meet in a welterweight affair at UFC 189 on March 5 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.