Frankie Edgar has finally made the decision to compete as a bantamweight after years of speculation that he could thrive in the division.
Edgar is a former champion in the UFC’s lightweight division (155 pounds) and a three-time title challenger at featherweight (145 pounds) but he was always undersized relative to most other fighters in those weight classes.
“We have already started discussing Frankie’s bantamweight debut,” Ali Abdelaziz, Edgar’s manager, told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. “We’re hoping it will be at UFC 244 on Nov. 2 at Madison Square Garden, but 100 per cent Frankie’s next fight will be at 135 pounds.”
Edgar’s decision comes less than two weeks after he was soundly defeated by featherweight champ Max Holloway via unanimous decision in the main event of UFC 240 in Edmonton.
The 37-year-old Toms River, N.J., native’s professional mixed martial arts record fell to 23–7–1, however only two of his losses have occurred in non-title fights.
“I love the kid, and I feel it will be safer for him at 135,” Edgar’s longtime coach Mark Henry told Okamoto. “He always does better when he fights guys his own size. When he’s fighting guys with similar height and range — sometimes they still weigh more than him, but I feel like it’s an even playing field.”
Henry added that Edgar weighed only 152 pounds a few weeks before his fight with Holloway, which is much smaller than most natural featherweights.
Edgar’s first opponent at 135 pounds is a complete unknown at the moment but, based on Edgar’s ability and experience, one can expect it to be a ranked contender.