Opinion: Overrated Frankie Edgar is one UFC 162 loss away from becoming Tito Ortiz

Photo via Getty Images

Frankie Edgar definitely isn't on the chopping block at UFC 162, which takes place this weekend (Sat., July 6, 2013) from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In fact, "The Answer" is expected by most fight fans to handily beat Charles Oliveira (a.k.a. "Do Bronx") in clean fashion this Saturday night, with oddsmakers pegging the former Lightweight champion as high as a -650 favorite.

But, if he loses to Oliveira, Edgar will suddenly become one of the very few fighters in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history to own four consecutive losses in the promotion -- and the first former UFC champion to do so at any weight class.

That practically makes him the next Tito Ortiz, a former UFC title holder with one of the worst losing stints in the company (three losses, draw, loss).

Edgar's got one foot in that hole now, dropping three straight bouts starting with a title loss -- a feat previously achieved only by former Heavyweight champion Mark Coleman.

And no matter how "competitive" this bout with Oliveira might be, another bad decision will ultimately put Edgar in the same company as this unlucky bunch:

Yoshihiro Akiyama: 0-4 (UFC 116–UFC 144)
Dan Hardy: 0-4 (UFC 111–UFC Live 5)
Joe Stevenson: 0-4 (UFC 110–UFC Live 4)
Phil Baroni: 0-4 (UFC 41–UFC 51)
• Tank Abbott: 0-4 (UFC Brazil–UFC 51)
• Tito Ortiz: 0-4-1 (UFC 66–UFC 121)
Leonard Garcia: 0-5 (UFC Fight Night 24–UFC 159)
Steve Cantwell: 0-5 (UFC 97–UFC 144)

There's been plenty of former UFC talents with worse losing streaks, but many of them were cut on their second or third loss and dismissed as elite competitors.

Yet, all losses regardless, Edgar's still considered one of the greatest UFC lightweights of all time. And no one else has fought a weight division's perceived No. 1-ranked fighter in five bouts across seven title fights.

But, he's also become one of the UFC's most overrated fighters because of it.

Let's be perfectly clear about that statement, too, because Edgar is certainly not a bad fighter.

He hasn't been "exposed" in any of his last bouts with some hidden flaw that's gone unnoticed. And most importantly, revisionist history hasn't relabeled him as an overall mediocre fighter like B.J. Penn.

Just look at the current line up, courtesy of the official UFC rankings, which is aggregated from an exhaustive panel of prominent MMA media:

  1. Anderson Silva
  2. Jon Jones
  3. Georges St-Pierre
  4. Jose Aldo
  5. Benson Henderson
  6. Cain Velasquez
  7. Demetrious Johnson
  8. Renan Barao
  9. Dominick Cruz
  10. Frankie Edgar

Right at the start, there's plenty wrong with that line up, such as current Bantamweight champion Cruz being rated below Barao, the interim champion.

But, most glaring of all is Edgar's presence, especially with his losing stint (0-3) somehow keeping him in a spot that should go to Johny Hendricks, Chad Mendes, Joseph Benavidez, Ronda Rousey or even Vitor Belfort.

Doesn't winning matter just as much as size in the "P4P" rankings?

It should. And it's still baffling that Edgar is credited as MMA's No. 10-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, which is purely on the strength of his opposition alone, it seems. If that's the case, then Belfort and Mauricio Rua belong on the list instead of him, right?

Subjectivity is one thing, but the cold, hard fact remains that Edgar hasn't won a fight in more than 600 days.

Maybe all his defeats haven't hammered that point home to the MMA media yet, but Edgar's losing streak isn't an accident -- record books are ironclad stuff. And without the ability to correctly judge him on his recent record, all of Edgar's close fights might start to look a just little less competitive in hindsight.


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. His work has appeared in PC World, Macworld, GamePro, 1UP, EGM, MMA Mania, FightFans Radio, Bleacher Report, CNN and The Los Angeles Times.

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