UFC president White says conversation with Edgar on to-do list
Ten days after Frankie Edgar lost his UFC lightweight title at UFC 144 to Ben Henderson in a close fight that Edgar believes he did enough to win, UFC president Dana White said Tuesday he’s still sorting out what do do next in the division.
With lightweight contenders Jim Miller and Nate Diaz next to him on stage at the Radio City Music Hall in New York for a news conference announcing the May 5 UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller card in nearby New Jersey, White didn’t rule out the possibility of an Edgar-Henderson rematch. That’s a fight Edgar believes he deserves, given when he won the belt from BJ Penn at UFC 112, he had to give Penn a rematch at UFC 118 – and won. And when he fought to a draw with Gray Maynard at UFC 125, he again had to do a rematch – and won at UFC 136.
But White had already said the winner of the Miller-Diaz fight would be next in line for the lightweight title now in Henderson’s hands.
“I’m obviously still dealing with the whole Frankie Edgar thing,” White said. “I’d like him to go to 145. I’m talking to Frankie, and we’ll figure this thing out. But we did – we said the winner of this fight (between Diaz and Miller) will get the shot.”
Miller, who got back in the win column in January with a submission of Melvin Guillard, would love another shot at Henderson, who snapped his seven-fight winning streak last August in Milwaukee – when Miller was battling a kidney infection, but fought anyway. And barring a rematch between Edgar and Henderson, Miller said he thinks he and Diaz are right there – and not Anthony Pettis, who won his second straight in the UFC with a brutal head kick knockout of Joe Lauzon in Japan, just a couple hours before Henderson beat Edgar.
“Nate and I have proved that we’re top guys in this division,” Miller said. “I personally don’t feel that Pettis’ win over (Jeremy) Stephens and the knockout win over Lauzon is a title run. But I don’t make those decisions. Other than the possible rematch, I think Nate is probably the only guy you can put in right away – but we ‘re scheduled to fight in May. I’m sure either of us hopes that a win is going to put us right up to that top position.”
Miller, whose first career loss came at the hands of Edgar more than five years ago in their native New Jersey on the regional circuit, said he didn’t believe the then-champ looked himself against Henderson in Japan.
“I thought it was a close fight,” Miller said. “In my opinion, Frankie didn’t fight the way he normally fights. He had a lot of respect for Ben’s ground game and wasn’t willing to really engage with him, and that’s not the way he usually fights. It was close, but he made some mistakes. I have confidence that he could win a rematch if he got it, but he could also tear through some guys at 145 as well.”
White has said repeatedly he wants Edgar, arguably the smallest fighter in the UFC’s lightweight division given that he walks around under 160 pounds, to drop to featherweight. But Edgar has said it’s been hard to argue with his success at 155 – where he won the title and held it for three defenses.