Sport

Dana White impressed by Frankie Edgar’s bantamweight debut, ‘but he’s got some work to do there’

Back in the win column in a new division, Frankie Edgar once again finds himself in the thick of a title chase.

But UFC President Dana White wants everyone to pump the brakes just a little.

Edgar, a former lightweight champion and a longtime contender in the featherweight division, unquestionably impressed in Saturday’s UFC on ESPN 15 main even when he went five rounds with Pedro Munhoz en route to a split decision win.

It was Edgar’s first UFC fight at 135 pounds and his first win since April 2018. While the New Jersey native’s name is never far from a championship opportunity, White said at the evening’s post-fight press conference that wants to see him compete more in his new division before making any guarantees about Edgar challenging for another belt.

“There’s some things that have to play out and there’s people ahead of him,” White said. “He put on a good showing tonight and put himself in a good position, but he’s got some work to do there.

“Two [more fights] or one, we don’t know, it depends on who he fights next.”

Given Edgar’s accolades so far in his previous weight classes, it’s fair to wonder how those achievements stack up to joining the exclusive club of martial artists that have won UFC fights in three different divisions.

White declined to comment on whether Edgar looked better tonight than ever before, instead putting into perspective how impressive Edgar has been regularly competing against larger opponents.

“Listen, the guy’s gonna be [39] years old in October or November,” White said. “To say that he looked better at 155, 145, or whatever, the career that the guy has had has been unbelievable.

“The fact that he’s still performing the way that he’s performing at his age and the wars that he’s been through and all the things that he’s accomplished, yeah I’d say that he looked pretty damn good tonight.”

Edgar was not available to comment as he was transported to the hospital following Saturday’s fight for precautionary reasons. The back-and-forth five-round contest saw both Edgar and Munhoz bloodied, with Edgar also taking noticeable damage to his lead leg from Munhoz’s kicks.

White has no issue with the split call, crediting both fighters for their performances, and finding amusement in the fact that Edgar finally made the drop down to 135 pounds after years of refusing to do so.

“It was a close fight,?” White said. “It was close. If they’d have said Munhoz, I wouldn’t have said, ‘Oh my God, that’s crazy’ either. Either one of those guys could have won that fight.”

“What’s funny is Joe Silva texted me tonight and said, ‘Remember when Frankie would get pissed at us when we would tell him to move down from 155?’ and here he is tonight,” White continued. “But yeah, he just fought the No. 5 guy in the world and he won.”