Frankie Edgar’s manager Ali Abdelaziz has accused UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor of deliberately avoiding his client, saying that McGregor and everyone else involved in the sport “knows that Frankie would have whooped his ass” if he’d decided to take on Edgar at UFC 200, rather than organising a Lightweight rematch with Nate Diaz.
Abdelaziz's rant came via a post on Instagram, where he also blamed the UFC for allowing the Irishman to “hand pick” his opponents:
When history speaks for itself, Frankie Edgar will go down as the guy who fought anyone at any weight, any time, and anywhere. But when history speaks for McGregor he was a UFC champion who hand picked his opponents and chose guys out of shape to fight him and he ducked Frankie. Every media member I talked to, a majority of the fans wants to see Edgar vs. McGregor but Conor's coaches since he lost to Nate Diaz for every interview they talk about everyone else except for Frankie.
At this point, I’m blaming the UFC for not making this fight happen because I think it's really up to them and they can make Conor fight Frankie. I’m done with this. It's been a miserable last four months talking and negotiating getting this fight to happen but now I realise the only person who needs to step up and say he wants to fight Frankie is Conor. But I don't believe he wants to because he and everyone else knows that Frankie would whoop his ass. I have zero respect for a champion who ducks contenders and that's that.
McGregor was originally scheduled to fight lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196, but after the Brazilian suffered a broken foot and was forced to withdraw, the chance to face Diaz presented itself. Despite landing some decent shots in the opening round, McGregor eventually lost the bout after gassing himself out and tapping to Diaz's strong submission game.
As reported by Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting, a rematch at UFC 200 is now expected.
Edgar, meanwhile, has been left to stew and patiently await his shot at the featherweight title. He is the most obvious No. 1 contender and will feel his well-rounded game would trouble Conor. Although the Irishman’s power has never been questioned, obvious gaps appear when his left hand doesn't manage to put his opponent down, as we saw against Diaz.
McGregor drew blood from the American, who is notoriously durable, but Diaz was never going to hit the deck after 13 seconds like Jose Aldo before him. BT Sport provided footage of McGregor's title win against the Brazilian:
Sure, the featherweight champion has only lost three fights in his entire career, but all of them have come through submission, something Edgar may consider if he ever gets to face the Irishman.
And that could be exactly why Abdelaziz is so worked up. Edgar is a versatile fighter and no stranger to winning by submission, with four victories in his career so far, according to ESPN.com. The Answer would likely try to descend a fight with McGregor into a scrappy affair, at which point he could exploit McGregor’s Achilles' heel.
Instead, it’ll likely be Diaz trying to take McGregor down a few pegs at UFC 200, and he recently told Damon Martin of FOX Sports that he’s open to the challenge:
“It's a real fight. Some people want to see that fight. Obviously, it just happened—it was a real fight. When you get a real fight, people appreciate it. If that's what he wants to do and that's what the UFC wants to do, let's run it back. Let's do it again."
Should the duo return to the Octagon, it’ll be a real fight again—especially with McGregor desperate to get back to winning ways.
As for Edgar, it’ll be another UFC meeting waiting in the wings for his shot at McGregor’s crown.