Those are pretty big words coming from the UFC boss. Many fans, particularly fans North of the border would probably take issue with who White feels is the number two pound for pound fighter in the world.
For the longest time White has maintained the stance that current middleweight champion Anderson Silva is the number one pound for pound fighter in the world and that Canadian welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was holding down the number two position on White's pound for pound list—until last night.
"The guy [Edgar] weighs 145 pounds, he is beating people at 155 pounds," White said.
Being able to beat guys outside of one's natural weight class has always been a factor in determining pound for pound greatness and there is no doubting it—Edgar is undersized for the lightweight division yet he is having immense success. On that front one can understand White's argument for putting Edgar in the number two slot.
The only issue I see with White's argument is that Edgar has always fought at lightweight, so it is kind of hard to say the guy's natural weight class is 145 pounds when he has never fought there. Edgar utilizes his speed and footwork to beat his opponents to the punch in the lightweight division. Who's to say that Edgar would still have that speed and footwork advantage in the featherweight division when he hasn't fought there yet?
"They [Canadian Fans] can't deny it either," was White's response to MMAfighting.com's Ariel Helwani who felt that White may have upset a lot of Canadian fans by replacing St-Pierre with Edgar in the number two spot on his pound for pound list.
A lot of Canadian fans are probably upset. Georges St-Pierre has won the welterweight belt on two occasions and has defended it six times consecutively now and is looking for his seventh straight defense against Carlos Condit at the end of the month.
St-Pierre has had the belt since August 2008 and looks like an unstoppable force in his division for the time being. In fact many fans and White himself have been considering a faceoff between St-Pierre and middleweight champ Silva to determine the true pound for pound best.
If one looks at St-Pierre's accomplishments versus what Edgar has done, there is no doubting the fact that Edgar still has a ways to go. Edgar has only defended the lightweight title on three occasions and on one of those defenses he kept the title by default since the first defense against Maynard ended in a draw. He has just reached the half way point of what St-Pierre has done in terms of defenses.
People may feel that St-Pierre is in too many decisions to be ranked above Edgar on the pound for pound list. St-Pierre has four finishes and six decisions in his last 10 wins. Edgar has three finishes and seven decisions in his last ten. People just forget all that because of his latest finish against Maynard.
"The only thing that keeps him [Edgar] from being number one is that Anderson Silva hasn't been beaten since 2006 and most of the time he's been the champion" White told the media. "It's [Silva's success] the only thing that keeps Frankie Edgar from being the number one pound for pound [fighter]."
If we go by what Dana White is saying in this statement, St-Pierre hasn't lost since 2007 and he has been the champion for most of the time as well since Matt Hughes' reign was ended in 2006.
So why leave Silva at number one if Edgar can leap frog St-Pierre? Both Silva and St-Pierre have been taking care of business in their respective divisions. If White can argue putting Edgar ahead of St-Pierre then he probably should be putting him ahead of Silva in the pound for pound rankings as well.
Edgar definitely has what it takes to be not only the number two, but number one pound for pound fighter in the world. He has a lot of heart, a strong chin and a great skill set to be successful for a long time coming. That being said, he still has a few more defenses to put behind him before we can start putting him ahead of a guy like St-Pierre.
Every fight St-Pierre is going in to he is the betting favorite by far. Edgar vs. Maynard in the rematch were pretty much even in the betting odds and in some cases Edgar was the underdog. When was the last time St-Pierre was even remotely considered the underdog in one of his fights?