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Frankie Edgar: 'Let's be real, people are talking about featherweights because of Conor McGregor'

So keep doing you, young man.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

You will find no shortage of fighters, much less top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight contenders, who have an unkind thing to say about the sharp-tongued Conor McGregor.

Among the many 145-pounders who have blasted him are Dustin Poirier, who doesn't feel he deserves all the media attention he gets. And Ricardo Lamas, who doesn't care much for the Irishman and his pocket watches.

Even division kingpin, Jose Aldo, doesn't like the mention of Conor's name.

But in a rare instance, one of McGregor's fellow featherweights -- Frankie Edgar -- not only avoided insulting him, but gave him a rather huge compliment by saying everyone should keep it real and realize that the spotlight that is shining bright on the division is all thanks to "Notorious."

And as he revealed on The MMA Hour, "The Answer," for one, isn't going to hate on Conor or his success.

"Everybody is talking man. But he is kind of setting the pace for everybody. Chael was doing it, but he was kind of in the sport for a while before he did it. Conor kind of came out of nowhere and did it. I think people are taking notice and saying, 'Wow, this gets me some attention and noticed.' So, people are opening their mouths more. It just is what it is."

Indeed, many fighters have declared that they will follow Conor's example by warming up their vocal cords and putting them to good use after seeing all the media attention and fanfare it has garnered McGregor. You won't see Edgar doing it, though, as he won't change his style, as he gets paid to fight, not flap his gums.

"I think people want to prove themselves to be the man. I don't really get caught up with stuff like that. I kind of sit back, take a look at it to see how it plays out. You know me, I don't get paid to talk. If that was the case, I'd have your job. At the end of the day, I have two mouths to feed, so I go in there and fight."

As far as any special treatment "Notorious" may be getting from the UFC higher ups (evidence here and here), Edgar says more power to him.

"Nah, he's doing well. They like him. Numbers sell, controversy sells, that's it. I'm not a jealous guy, I'm not going to hate on the kid or anything. He's doing right by these guys; listen people are talking about our division because of this guy, let's be real."

Classy as always, Edgar, despite the fact that he too was on Conor's hit list when the scrappy contender first burst onto the UFC scene.

Still, Edgar will look to leapfrog McGregor in the 145-pound title race by attempting to defeat Cub Swanson this weekend (Nov. 22, 2014) when the two battle it out in the main event of UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin, Texas.

If not a title fight, perhaps a victory over Cub sets up a fight between Edgar and Conor down the road. And who wouldn't want to see that?

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