Just hours after Frankie Edgar earned one of the most impressive victories in his UFC career, mixed martial arts (MMA) fans around the globe began contemplating what could be next for the former UFC lightweight champion. In MMA, winning is everything, but the satisfaction of said victory only lasts for mere moments as the future comes into question.
For Edgar, his sensational victory over No. 2 ranked featherweight contender Cub Swanson will only give him a short respite as the focus shifts to either (another) crack at UFC gold, or a No. 1 contender bout in early 2015.
Coming into UFC Fight Night 57, the onus was on Swanson to earn his title shot, as "Killer Cub" had won six straight fights. Instead, "The Answer" beat down Swanson for five rounds before submitting him in the latest stoppage in UFC history (highlights here).
While Edgar is hoping to have earned another shot at Jose Aldo with his impressive win, the likelihood of that occurring hinges solely on a certain Irish martial artist. The man in question is of course Conor McGregor, who now has a clear path to a UFC title shot if in fact he defeats Dennis Siver in January.
While McGregor has not been tested by a wrestler such as Edgar, Chad Mendes, or even Ricardo Lamas, the facts are that he is the most talked about fighter in UFC today, and he carries the entire nation of Ireland behind him. McGregor is something special, and UFC needs to cash in on its opportunity to give him a shot at Jose Aldo and the UFC title.
If McGregor is upset by Siver, expect to see Edgar get his second chance to take out Aldo.
Otherwise, Edgar will find himself in a No. 1 contender bout against either Chad Mendes or Ricardo Lamas as they wait for the outcome of Aldo vs McGregor. My personal preference would be to see Edgar and Mendes main event a future pay-per-view (PPV) card, but the UFC often strays away from matching up winners with recent losers.
Mendes recently got his second crack at Jose Aldo, losing one of the year's best fights in the main event of UFC 179. Considering both Lamas and Edgar have only gotten one chance to fight Aldo, it would make logical sense to match them up for a No. 1 contender fight down the line.
My only qualm with the Edgar vs. Lamas bout is the fact that Lamas did absolutely nothing against Jose Aldo in their first go-round that would make any casual fan want to purchase a rematch on PPV. Both Edgar and Mendes have put forth exciting performances against Aldo, and have easily been the biggest tests of the Brazilian's career.
Regardless, I expect to see Ricardo Lamas take on Frankie Edgar in the main event of a UFC Fight Night in early 2015.
For more results and fallout from UFC Fight Night 57 including play-by-play, videos, reactions, recaps, and more, check out our "Edgar vs Swanson" live story stream right here.