Frankie Edgar knows it might be awhile before he gets a fight with UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor, especially seeing how McGregor seems to be on some master plan to capture belts in every division.
That plan hit a speed bump when Rafael dos Anjos dropped out of the title event with a broken foot. Without dos Anjos, there's no lightweight belt up for grabs at UFC 196. McGregor will square off against Nate Diaz in a non-title bout. With all of McGregor's cross divisional dreams, another push for a second title could be in the cards next, but Edgar hopes that's not the case.
There's only one outcome of UFC 196 that could force McGregor to defend his featherweight title: losing to Nate Diaz. According to Edgar, that's a real possibility.
"I don't know, man, I think Nate could go in there and spoil the party, and then [McGregor] has to come back down to 145. I think that's best case scenario. I give him a real shot.
His pressure and volume is just tough to deal with for anybody. You know, Conor's biggest thing is range and length, and he doesn't have it in this fight. A southpaw against southpaw, I think a lot could happen there."
Edgar was actually one of the first names the UFC turned to when Dos Anjos dropped out, but unfortunately Edgar had to decline the fight due to a torn groin muscle.
"The first week, I was having a hard time sitting on the toilet," Edgar explained. "But it got better and I like to stay doing something. I have to stay doing something because I'll go crazy. I'm just doing what I can. Obviously I can't roll, I can't wrestle, I can't spar. I can hit mitts a little bit and I've been lifting weights. I'm just doing what I can do to keep somewhat in shape."
Edgar was a little disturbed the seriousness of his injury, feeling that he should have been more than healed by now.
"To be honest, I'm kind of surprised by how long this is keeping me out. Most of my injuries in the past have been overuse injuries, bulged disc, nerve pain. This is actually something that actually happened, where it popped. I thought I'd be well more ahead than where I am now, because again, I don't like to be stagnant too long. So I thought I'd be back training a little more than I am, but you know, that's the way that it goes."
Even though it's taken some time to heal, Edgar plans to be ready for UFC 200 in the Summer, where he hopes to face off against McGregor. It'll allow him to hopefully answer to the online community who have dumped on him for not accepting the fight against McGregor, even though it was short notice and he was injured.
"[The fight] was up at 155. I just thought RDA, he's been looking great lately. Obviously we share the same manager, and from what I understood, everything was going great and I wasn't really banking on me even getting a call. That's kind of what pissed me off too, I'm sitting here recovering from injury and people are looking down at me because I didn't take the fight on 10 days' notice at a weight class I'm not even in, for not even the title. That's kind of what got under my skin."
If healthy, Edgar was asked if he would have taken the fight against McGregor:
"I mean, I was even enticed by the idea of taking it now, but luckily I didn't, man. I'm in no shape to be fighting, or training, to be honest. But if I was healthy and even half-assed trained, for sure, I would've taken that fight."
Edgar has long been considered one of the best featherweights in the world, but so far a second shot at the belt has eluded him. Since falling to Jose Aldo, Edgar five straight fights and scored three post-fight bonuses. In December, Edgar claims he was promised a shot at the title, yet he still believe the UFC is playing favorites when it comes to McGregor.
"I mean, he does (get preferential treatment), but how can you say it's not just? He brings in the numbers. He performs. I'm not one to sit here and complain that he's getting better treatment than I am. He's kind of earned it, I guess you could say. I feel I've earned it too in a different way, through the years of work, years of just doing the right thing for these guys."
At the point, if Edgar wants to see McGregor in the ring opposite again, he's going to have to hope Nate Diaz grants his wish and beats McGregor. Edgar is confident Diaz has the skills to make that wish come true.
"I think he has to win this fight the same way he always does. Just, pressure. You've got to put pressure on Conor, and he's got to take the kicks away as much as possible. Conor is definitely crafty. He has many different kicks, and [Diaz] has to put the pressure, get close enough to negate the kicks, and just be himself."