Frankie Edgar: Breaking Down What's Next for UFC Star After Another Tough Loss

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13:  Frankie Edgar, UFC lightweight champion, speaks during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Michael Cohen/Getty Images

UFC 156 was one of the best shows of the past year for the company, but another tough loss for veteran fan-favorite Frankie Edgar has many experts questioning what’s next for the former champion.

Edgar must go back to the drawing board and find out which weight class will fit his mix of speed and power; that would likely mean a jump back up to lightweight.

If Edgar squares off with a top-tier talent like Nate Diaz, Edson Barboza or Anthony Pettis and can walk away victorious, there is little doubt that he can once again get a shot at Benson Henderson and the UFC Lightweight Championship.

As great as Edgar was in his prime and still is to this day, the former champion knows he ran into an even more impressive fighter in Henderson for his title, and those two losses forced the switch to the lighter weight class.

Five rounds with Jose Aldo in the featherweight division later, and Edgar realizes he ran into another superior fighter at at UFC 156.

Fuel TV analyst and current UFC fighter Chael Sonnen spoke after the fight (h/t about how this was more about Aldo winning the fight than Edgar losing:

What surprised me about Frankie was that he was fast, but he didn’t have the advantage. Frankie threw punches and some landed, but some didn’t. Jose threw less punches, but they all landed. Jose slowed down in the fight, but he didn’t back down. His accuracy was amazing. Edgar is known for going down, but getting back up. He got hurt, but stood his ground. Jose stuffed most of the takedowns. It was like running into a brick wall. I tell you, I resisted it in the past, but Jose has won me over now. He’s spectacular. Yes, Frankie is resilient. It’s like calling Kate Upton mildly attractive.

Edgar became a star in the UFC after his storied feud with Gray Maynard, but it was the lightweight championship the veteran fighter successfully defended three times that has many fans considering him one of the best in the division's history.

There is no doubt that Edgar still has plenty of talent and could be the No. 1 contender in two different weight classes, but his inability to get over the championship hump is starting to tarnish the fighter’s legacy.

With a 1-3-1 record over his past five fights, there is nothing overly impressive about how Edgar has finished his bouts. The veteran brawler has been in contention throughout each battle, but the inability to put elite talent away is the star’s ultimate downfall.

A fighter can’t win championships in the UFC without beating the best, and Edgar has proven over the past two years that he has struggled with elite talent since losing the lightweight title.