Last week, UFC President Dana White made some headlines by declaring that lightweight champion Frankie Edgar is likely the number two pound for pound fighter in the MMA world right now. You have to hand it to Dana, he has turned himself into such a celebrity that when he talks, people actually believe the stuff he says. This one here is another one that leaves me sceptical.
Let me start by saying I’m not a huge fan of pound for pound lists, they really are all opinion. I will also add that Frankie Edgar is a great little fighter. But when Dana makes a statement like this, it is just being a good salesman who is pushing his product, nothing more. Because if you examine it closely, it really looks like he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about.
I’m not going to create a pound for pound list here, but let me tell you a few of the things I look for in MMA, which I think is obviously different than what they look for in a boxing pound for pound list.
My number one criteria would be does the fighter possess the ability to FINISH the fight in different ways. Can he win by submission, can he win standing, by ground and pound?
Frankie Edgar has shown me he can make others play his game, but I haven’t seen many dimensions to his game. Anderson Silva has won by KO and submission as UFC champion, by comparison.
Another factor I look for is I ask is the fighter dominant? Has he taken a series of good opponents and made them look bad? Anderson Silva certainly has, I don’t feel Edgar has. He has won several decisions, but he has clearly lost rounds.
There is a foil to the dominant factor, and that is can the fighter come back from behind, especially when he has been hurt. Here you have to give credit where credit is due, Edgar has shown this quality in his series against Gray Maynard. Silva showed it against Sonnen.
But I really would like to see some evolution as a fighter to slot him so high, and Edgar is a guy whose fought the same exact fight each time out the last five times. He is a good, unorthodox stand up fighter who is able to keep it on the feet, and against Maynard he proved he can take you out with his hands. But I don’t see any other attempts or abilities that he displays that would lead to FINISHING a fight, and that I think, is what MMA is all about as a sport.