Last night at UFC 162, former Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar scored his first win as a Featherweight as he soundly defeated Charles Oliveira in the co-headline bout of the card. Edgar badly needed the win, as he had dropped three title fights in a row prior to this bout and was at risk of a UFC taboo – the dreaded four fight losing streak. With this win, Edgar remains relevant as a Featherweight, and though a rematch with Champion Jose Aldo is not that appealing, Edgar kept himself in the title picture with this win. So what is next for him?
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The bottom line is that before Edgar came down to the Featherweight division, there was another fighter in the same boat – Chad Mendes. Mendes was KO’d by Jose Aldo in his title shot, but he has basically wiped out the rest of the weight class, and if not for the arrival of several top 155 lbers, would have been the clear cut number one contender. But no one really is interested in seeing Mendes-Aldo II.
Mendes wanted to stay active after his loss, and he got a string of fights where he was heavily favored. Edgar will not get that luxury because he is higher on the overall UFC pecking order, and likely only get Oliveira before he is thrown back into the fire.
Champion Jose Aldo defends his title in early August against ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung, so he could be available for Edgar’s next match.
A more likely scenario sees Aldo moving on to compete at Lightweight. The UFC can easily make that happen with a little pay incentive, and Aldo would be well suited for the deep Lightweight division.
This would leave the UFC with a potential interim or vacant title at 145, which makes a showdown between Mendes and Edgar a natural.
mendes is an exceptional wrestler with KO power in his hands, but Edgar is no slouch when it comes to wrestling himself. Additionally, Edgar has shown a solid chin and good elusiveness in his standup game, and his unorthodox boxing are far and away better than what Mendes brings to the table in a stand up battle.
Edgar-Mendes is an intriguing fight that will likely be near pick em at the sportbooks when the lines come out. It all hinges on Aldo-Zombie.