Frankie Edgar went the distance in another title fight, but for the third straight time he ended up on the wrong side of the judge's decision. Where does that put the former UFC lightweight champion now?
The positive for Edgar is that, once again, many viewed this as a very close fight that could have gone either way. That fact will play heavily in where Edgar ends up next. He will likely not head back to the back of either the featherweight or lightweight divisions.
Wherever Edgar ends up next, he will be involved in a high-profile contender's fight. It is not as if a competitive loss to Aldo renders him irrelevant. Edgar is certainly not going to live in the shadows.
Will he get an instant rematch against Aldo? That is highly unlikely.
Fans are tired of instant rematches from Edgar, and the featherweight division has a couple credible challengers waiting in the wings to take on Aldo.
At UFC on FOX 6, Ricardo Lamas put a highlighter over his name on Joe Silva's list of title contenders with a big TKO performance over Erik Koch. Lamas would be the logical choice to challenge Aldo next.
Also, at the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White mentioned that he received a text from lightweight Anthony Pettis that said he'd love to fight Aldo next. That is also unlikely to happen, but if they look at that situation seriously then Pettis would be ahead of Edgar.
Dana says that Anthony Pettis texted him 10 mins ago and said he wants to move down to 145 to fight Jose Aldo at featherweight.— UFC (@ufc) February 3, 2013
Chan Sung Jung, The Korean Zombie, is also on the outskirts of receiving a title shot.
Edgar is in the mix, but he's going to need at least one more win to earn a title shot shot in the featherweight division. The lightweight title picture is even more clouded with Gilbert Melendez, Pettis, and company.
The former champion was obviously dejected after the fight. Now, he must assess where he wants to continue his career.
Wherever he ends up, he will continue to be in the top 10 of the division, and most likely he will remain on some pound-for-pound lists as well. The loss does not damage him significantly.
Edgar continues to show all of his skills and his never-say-die attitude. He continues to win over fans with gutsy performances.
Edgar has many doors open to him by showing how competitive he was against Aldo. Top-tier bouts await him at two different weight classes now, and that should keep him as active as he wants to be. He will need to make the decision of which title belt he wants to go after.
He will go down as one of the best fighters of this generation. This loss does not change that.
Ultimately, the loss does not hurt Edgar's legacy that much. He simply ran into one of the greatest fighters on the planet and came up just a bit short. Edgar has plenty of time to rectify this and upend Aldo in the future, should he stay at 145 pounds.