One of these days, UFC lightweight Frankie Edgar will be favorite in the eyes of the bookmakers.
Edgar, despite being the UFC lightweight champion, once again is an underdog, this time to Gray Maynard for their UFC 125 bout on Jan. 1, 2011 in Las Vegas.
But Edgar won’t pay attention to the odds, he’ll just fight.
Considering Maynard (10-0, 1 NC) is the only person to defeat Edgar (13-1), it might be warranted to be put the favorite tag on the challenger.
Edgar, however, is coming off of his best performance in a five-round domination of B.J. Penn, and Edgar has evolved ten-fold since the last time he fought Maynard.
“I’m training with big athletes (at Rutgers University),” Edgar said. “I’ve put on some weight since the last time. I got to make sure I don’t let him squeak out rounds on me.”
The last time the two fought was at UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Lauzon on April 8, 2008. Maynard used his size and power advantage to manhandle the much smaller Edgar, en route to a unanimous decision.
Since then, Edgar has reeled off five straight wins, including a submission victory over Matt Veach, who shares a similar style and body type to Maynard.
Edgar put off the notion that the result against Veach is any indication that he can handle Maynard.
“It’s a different animal,” Edgar said. “The similarities are there. (Gray) has some power in his hands. I’m confident I’ll be ready, though.”
If there is one thing people should bet on, it’s the possibility that people will ask Edgar about a possible drop to 145 pounds.
With the merger between the WEC and UFC, the question will probably continue to hound Edgar up until fight night.
“I have no choice. When I got in the UFC, (1)55 was the smallest division,” he said. “I could have fought in the WEC or other places, but I wanted to fight (1)55 and in the UFC.”
One person who would like to fight Edgar is WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who has told a variety of media outlets that his dream fight would be to take on Edgar.
Aldo apparently was offered a fight at 155 against Kenny Florian, which he turned down. However, that was prior to the announcement of the merger
But Edgar isn’t opposed to fighting Aldo — whether at 155, 145 or even 150.
“He’s running through people in the (1)45 division,” Edgar said. “A fight with him would be huge. It would be a guy my size. He’d be a very dangerous opponent.
“(A cut to) (1)45 wouldn’t be too hard for me. I wouldn’t be surprised if Aldo cuts more than I do.”
Now that the unification has taken place, it appears it’s only a matter of time before Edgar, Aldo and everyone else finds out.