On Saturday night in Las Vegas at UFC 222, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar took one of the biggest gambles of his storied career and sadly, it backfired.
In an ideal world, Edgar would have faced UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway that night, but after the champion withdrew due to injury, Edgar was left with two options. He could have waited for Holloway to return and reschedule the fight, or face the dangerous up-and-comer Brian Ortega.
Edgar chose the second option and bravely salvaged the event, but it came at a cost and Edgar suffered his first ever defeat via KO.
With a title shot seemingly out of the question and Ortega surely next in line for a shot at Max Holloway, it begs the question as to what could be next for the New Jersey native.
Starting all over again
The UFC’s featherweight division is hardly stacked and it would not be beyond the realm of possibility to see Edgar get a title shot before the end of the year. With McGregor gone, Chad Mendes still out and Jose Aldo’s future unknown there is a real lack of star power in the featherweight division, but Frankie Edgar is certainly one of them.
Given that he was scheduled to fight for the belt twice, it is only fair that he eventually gets a title shot despite losing to Ortega. Even if his shot at the belt comes after Ortega gets his own.
Edgar may need a fight beforehand and he may have to wait a while, but he certainly still has a future in the upper echelons of the featherweight division.
The Bantamweight division
Frankie Edgar in the bantamweight division is something that has long been spoken about. It’s also not a bad career move.
Edgar is 5’6″ and is perhaps better suited physically at bantamweight. Not only that, the division also brings fresh and exciting match-ups and the possibility of an immediate title shot in a division lacking in challengers.
Top bantamweights like champion T.J Dillashaw, Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt have all faced each other, but the addition of Edgar would truly spice things up in a division lacking new match ups.
Although Edgar may not be up for a new challenge and cutting an extra 10 pounds at the age of 36, despite flirting with the idea in the past. Only time will tell on this one.
Only one thing can compare to a title shot in modern MMA and that’s the shot at the self titled “McGregor belt”.
McGregor announced via Instagram that he had offered to step in when Max Holloway had pulled out through injury. The appeal seemed to be fighting on short notice and skipping his media obligations, but if Conor is set on fighting Edgar then it may well happen. After all McGregor has continued to talk about the featherweight division, with tweets about Edgar and Holloway.
Frankie's career deserved for that to be against me tonight.
Love and respect always!
A true fighters fighter ❤
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 4, 2018
It’s not often to see McGregor publicly share his appreciation for another fighter, so to see him tweet like that shows you just how respected Edgar is. However, it’s unlikely we’ll see these two legends square off anytime soon, with McGregor’s future looking likely to be elsewhere.
No one wants to see Frankie Edgar retire, but at the age of 36 and having just suffered his first knockout defeat no one would blame him from walking away from the unforgiving sport that is mixed martial arts. After all, Edgar has achieved so much in this sport and truly has a legendary career filled with blood shed, bravery and 22 wins.
Edgar is likely to have a break to recover and assess his options, however it is unlikely he will leave for good especially after this tweet.
Saturday did not go as planned, congrats to Ortega he definitely got me with some good ones. Thanks to all my peers, my team, my friends, and my fans for their nice words, they don't go unnoticed. All I can do now is dust myself off and get ready to put it all on the line again.
— Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) March 5, 2018
If I was a betting man, my money would be put on Edgar coming back to the featherweight division to fight the winner of Holloway vs Ortega.
UFC Announces Liverpool Event, Darren Till Main Event
Scousers are drowning in celebration this evening. Earlier today, UFC officials announced the addition of a Liverpool show to their 2018 event calendar. Liverpool’s, Echo Arena, plays host for the event, which takes place on May 27th.
Liverpool’s own, Darren Till made the announcement this afternoon with Dan Hardy at the UFC Fight Night: Werdum vs. Volkov, ceremonial weigh-in. When asked by Hardy what it means to have the UFC in Liverpool, he had this to day, “Words can’t describe it. It doesn’t do it justice, words. So, it’s coming and I’m going to be the first Scousers to ever have done it. In 200 years they’re going to remember my name in combat sports in Liverpool. I’m gonna take someones chin off in Liverpool, that’s what’s happening”.
He was also quoted in an release from the promotion saying, “I can’t believe UFC is finally coming to Liverpool and I’m going to be headlining Echo Arena. My name is going to be remembered in 200 years time for being part of this historical event and I can’t even describe how much that means to me”. Till will headline the card, his opponent is yet to be announced.
In the official release, it quotes David Shaw, Senior Vice President International and Content, claiming, “The stars really aligned for the Octagon to touch down in Liverpool. We have seen such phenomenal demand from fans in the region for a live event. Pair that with having such a rising, local star in Darren Till it made absolute sense to bring our first live event to this historical combat sports city in 2018”.
UFC Liverpool lands on a date speculated for a different venue, in a different country. Reports swirled last month, specifically one from MMAFighting.com, which claimed the May 27th date belonged to the UFCs return to Dublin. A return to Dublin doesn’t seem to fall completely out of the realm of possibility. For now, it remains to be seen.
The UFC also announced two bouts, both in the Middleweight division, booked for the event. Elias Therodorou takes on Trevor Smith, and Daniel Kelly goes up against England’s Tom Breese.
Marco Reyes Flagged for Potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation
Earlier today, UFC officials announced that Lightweight, Marco Reyes was flagged for a potential UFC Anti-Doping Policy violation. The potential violation hails from a sample collected on March 8th, 2018, in an out-of-competition test.
Reyes made his way into the UFC through The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, season 2. Competing in the lightweight bracket, Reyes defeated Christhian Soto by 2nd rd. TKO of a preliminary round bout. He then went onto to face Horacio Gutiérrez, in the semifinals of the tournament. Gutiérrez defeated Reyes in the opening round by TKO.
Following his elimination from the tournament, the Mexican fighter met Cezar Arzamendia on the series finale, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 2 Finale. Reyes impressively defeated Arzamendia, whom was the first overall pick for Team Gastelum, by 1st round KO.
From there, Reyes defeated Dong Hung Kim (rd. 1, KO), and Jason Novelli (Split Decision) respectively, before falling to rising contender James Vick. Most recently, the Lightweight fighter dispatched Matt Frevola in the opening round, ruining the Long Islanders promotional debut. His bout against Frevola took place at UFC Fight Night: Stephens vs. Choi, on January 14th of this year.
The UFC statement on the matter reads as follows:
The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Marco Reyes of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on March 8, 2018.
USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case involving Reyes. Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full and fair legal process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. Additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward.
Dillon Danis to make Pro debut against Kyle Walker at Bellator 198
Mixed Martial Arts officially adopted another incredibly talented jiu-jitsu practioner today. Bellator officials announced today the long-awaited debut of Dillon Danis, whom the promotion had signed in the year previous. After zero amateur and countless jiu-jitsu matches, Danis makes his debut at Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, against Kyle Walker.
Kyle Walker enters the match up also making his Bellator debut. Walker recently made a resurgence in 2016 after taking off, almost exactly, 3 years. Since returning to the professional scene his record is 0-3, losing each fight by stoppage (2 Sub, 1 KO).
Walker looks to snap his streak yet, his opponent could provide a major challenge. In terms of advantages for Walker, he has a massive and obvious one. His experience. Walkers opponent fights for the first time in the sport of MMA. While Danis competed in many top-level jiu-jitsu tournaments and matches, comparing the competition would stop and end upon examining the rule sets. It is quite obvious, the difference. Danis will have a bit of adversity to overcome, in that respect.
In spite of this, Danis’ team, he trains out of the highly regarded SBG Ireland. Even before his MMA training, he trained under Marcelo Garcia. He earned his black belt in April of 2015, following an incredible 2014. In that year, Danis became UAEJJF World Champion, winning gold in the 82 kg (181 lb.) Brown belt category.
The prospect of what that could look like inside the cage is exciting. He may have developed some striking techniques but, the lack of time dedicated to that training in undeniable. Experience and time is required to develop skills of any kind.
Bellator 198: Mir vs. Emelianenko, takes place on Saturday, April 28th from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. Bellator 198 features the third of four preliminary bouts in the promotions Heavyweight Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko takes on Frank Mir. It serves as the nights main event. Other bouts on the card feature; Emmanuel Sanchez against Sam Sicilia, Neiman Gracie faces Javier Torres, Rafael Lavato Jr. vs. John Salter, and more.
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