Despite being one of the most durable fighters in UFC history, former lightweight champion and current featherweight contender Frankie Edgar is catching some flack for his quick turnaround against Cub Swanson next month at UFC Fight Night 128.
Remember, Edgar was just knocked out by top contender Brian Ortega at UFC 222 earlier this month, marking the first time the 13-year veteran has ever been finished.
While Edgar has done his part to subdue concerns that he’s coming back too quickly after getting knocked unconscious with one punch, “The Answer” has been forced to defend his decision on multiple occasions. Edgar may feel healthy enough and capable of a quick return to action, but countless people around the mixed martial arts (MMA) community disagree with the veteran’s choice.
Two of those people, former UFC fighter Yves Edwards and UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, discussed Edgar’s situation on a recent edition of the JRE MMA Show podcast.
“I don’t like the fight,” Edwards said. “Frankie just got knocked out, and that’s really soon to come back. If anybody can bounce back from something like that, it’s a guy like Frankie, but I felt the same way about (Michael) Bisping fighting after – he didn’t get knocked out, he got dropped by Georges (St-Pierre) and then got choked unconscious — it’s like, ‘Yeah, you shouldn’t have taken that (Kelvin) Gastelum fight so soon.’ I feel that way about this fight.
“I feel like Frankie wants this fight so he can get that taste out of his mouth, but it’s still going to taste the same. Any time you go back and watch that fight you’re still going to have those feelings. You’re going to win your next fight more than likely. You’re Frankie Edgar. You don’t have to rush it. Let your brain rest and recover.”
Rogan, who has been an advocate for taking care of fighters who were just knocked out, shares the same concerns that Edwards does. In addition, Rogan believes the location of the event will make it more difficult for Edgar.
“The problem is it’s in Atlantic City, and he’s from New Jersey, and all the boys are going to come down,” Rogan said. “I’m with you 100 percent. I would like to see this fight, but I would like to see this fight in six months. It’s a good fight.”
As mentioned before, Edgar, 36, had never been finished in his entire career before running into “T-City” at UFC 222. He’s one of the more battled-tested names in the sport today and already holds a victory over Swanson from their initial meeting back in 2014, so maybe Edgar feels like this is his best opportunity to immediately jump back into the 145-pound win column.
“He fought Cub just a couple of years ago and just mauled him and got a last-second submission,” Rogan said. “Maybe he just thinks, ‘There’s not a (expletive) thing in the world this guy can do to stop me. I (expletive) him up before and I’ll (expletive) him up again. I’m not even going to get hit, I’m just going to get ahold of him and I’ll rag doll him just like I did before.’ But Cub Swanson can crack. He can crack. And he’s got a kid now, and he’s got a second kid along the way and he does not quit. That makes dudes hungry. That fight is probably a massive motivating factor for Cub Swanson.”
We will have to wait and see if Edgar’s decision to come back so quickly after getting flattened by Ortega turns out to be a good one. If he’s unable to shake off the cobwebs, Edgar may encounter the same results that Michael Bisping did this past November when “The Count” was submitted by Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 and then knocked out by Kelvin Gastelum just three weeks later in China.
UFC Fight Night 128 will go down on April 21 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and feature a main event lightweight clash between former interim title challenger Kevin Lee and Brazilian knockout artist Edson Barboza.
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