UFC 136 Results: Why Frankie Edgar Does Not Need to Drop to Featherweight

Matt JuulContributor IIIOctober 10, 2011

After such a great performance at UFC 136, it is hard to believe that people are calling for UFC Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to drop down to featherweight.

UFC President Dana White expressed concern over how much damage Edgar can absorb from bigger opponents—like Gray Maynard—and that constantly taking punishment is not healthy for the champion.

But he is not just taking a beating at 155, he is giving them too.

Edgar has no reason to change weight classes if he is taking out the elite of the lightweight division.  

Nobody gave him a shot against former two time UFC champion BJ Penn and he proved his critics wrong, twice.

The current lightweight champion has a great advantage being a bit smaller than everyone else in the division.

Edgar has a clear speed advantage over the heavier lightweights, using his head movement, footwork, and quick combinations in tandem to get the better of his opponents. His lightning fast hands and feet are what got him the belt.

His fast striking also helps Edgar secure some amazing take downs.  Edgar is one of the few people to put both Penn and Maynard on their backs.

Another advantage Edgar has being a smaller lightweight is that he does not have to suffer the rigors of cutting weight before a fight.

UFC commentator Mike Goldberg noted that Maynard walks at upwards of 200 lbs. between fights. Cutting any amount over 15 to 20 lbs is a grueling task that Edgar does not have to endure.

The competition within the division is also stacked, providing Edgar with constant challenges at lightweight.

Fighters like Ben Henderson, Clay Guida, and the rest of the UFC's 155ers are still looking for their shot at the belt, not to mention that Strikeforce Lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is vying for a UFC crown.

When the division is cleared out—a very tall order—then a superfight with UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo might make sense.  However, a full-time move to 145 just seems impractical at this point for Edgar.

Once the champion is either dethroned or wipes the division clean, then a move to featherweight would make sense.

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