It's not very often you'll get a rise out of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, but when he heard promotion president Dana White telling the mixed martial arts (MMA) media he refused to fight Conor McGregor, well, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
It probably didn't help that Edgar, who was expected to get first dibs on "Notorious" in the wake of UFC 194, was already fuming after a torn groin kept him from stepping in for the injured Rafael dos Anjos, who broke his foot last week and withdrew from UFC 196.
Though Edgar isn't convinced he would have gotten the fight, even if he accepted it, according to his conversation with MMA Fighting:
"I didn’t just pull my groin, I tore it. I sent Dana and everyone in the UFC my MRI. I’m even more pissed that Dana’s insinuating that I ‘refused’ to take this fight, which is bullshit, just because they asked me doesn’t mean they were going to give it to me because guess what, in July they asked me to take the [UFC 189] fight on 15 day’s notice, which of course I accepted, and I still didn’t get it. I feel like my integrity is something that I’ve built over the years and I’ve been such a good guy to the UFC, and then they’re going to throw me under the bus like I ‘refused’ to take this fight. I have a feeling that if I had said ‘yes,’ if Ali had texted back ‘yes,’ that fight still would have went to Nate Diaz. I think Nate Diaz was the fight they were trying to make since the beginning. Why didn’t they go with Cowboy? Cowboy was fresh off a camp. He’s in shape, no injuries. They decide to go with a guy like Nate who can’t even make 155, so how much training has he been doing? I don’t understand why they picked the guy who’s probably not ready for the fight. Why not pick a guy like Cowboy who seems to be ready for it? It sounds fishy to me."
Edgar isn't the only fighter who was forced to decline.
While Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis -- both seasoned lightweights -- made themselves ready and available, the promotion opted for Diaz, who is probably the most entertaining fighter of the bunch and could have the most impact on pay-per-view (PPV) buys.
As far as his chances of winning? We already know what these guys think.