UFC 144: Frankie Edgar Deserves a Title Shot, No Matter Where He Fights Next

Vince CareyContributor IFebruary 27, 2012

Photo by Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Photo by Nick Laham/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

After Benson Henderson had his hand raised at UFC 144, Frankie Edgar looked dejected, and perhaps a bit shocked at the judges’ decision.

In a closely contested bout that saw Edgar look far more beat up but put on an incredible performance, Henderson walked away with the belt and left Edgar with a swarm of reporters asking about a possible move to 145 lbs.

Is this unfair to the former champion? Possibly.

Edgar has long since proven he is one of the elite fighters in the sport, let alone the lightweight division, but after losing his belt it seemed everyone from Joe Rogan to UFC president Dana White was calling for him to cut the additional 10 pounds and try his luck at featherweight.

If Edgar were to make the move, it would make a lot of sense to throw him directly into a title fight against Jose Aldo, despite the fact that he has never fought that featherweight.

The weight cut would seem to be an easy one for the former champion to make, and there is a serious lack of competition for Aldo now that he has dispatched every competitor the UFC has thrown in front of him with relative ease.

But after seeing the performance that Edgar showed against Henderson, it would make just as much sense to give him a chance to earn his title back against “Smooth.”

Edgar may have looked like he took a beating at the hands of Benson, but other than a well-aimed up-kick in the second round there wasn’t a lot of huge shots landed by Henderson throughout the bout and one could make the case that Edgar had won the fight by taking at least three of the rounds by the time the fight was over.

Dana White has even stated that he scored the fight for “The Answer” something that seems strange since he has neglected to give Frankie the immediate rematch that so many other have gotten in similar situations.

It’s possible that White and Joe Silva won’t give Edgar the rematch because they would prefer to see him make the drop to 145 and take on Aldo, but that is unfair to Edgar and undermines the system that the UFC has put in place.

The best challenger possible should be getting the chance at the title, and Edgar proved that he deserves that much with his performance at UFC 144, and if the UFC is holding him back due to his own wishes it’s disrespectful to the former champion.

Whether the UFC gets their wish and Edgar decides to fight at 145 in his next bout, or if he chooses to stay at lightweight and try to regain what was his, Edgar has earned the right to fight for a UFC title in his next bout and it will be a huge mistake if he is forced to take a step back in competition in his next bout.