If you weren’t even a little bit surprised when the news broke that Frankie Edgar was going to fight Urijah Faber next, well, you were in the minority.
Sure, it’s an intriguing fight and its announcement immediately buzzed the MMA world, but it caught quite a few people off guard. After all, Edgar is currently the #1 ranked featherweight, and Faber is the UFC’s #3 positioned bantamweight. In the case of Edgar, it wasn’t long ago when there was speculation that he could fight champion Jose Aldo next, before Conor McGregor locked up a title shot in January.
Well, recently Edgar spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and while discussing his reasons for accepting the May 16th scrap with Faber, he stated:
“I definitely didn’t want to take any time off of fighting,” Edgar said. “I feed my family off of fighting. I took a year off to do ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ show. That was just a brutal year. It felt like forever, and I didn’t want to do that again.”
“This opportunity came up, and I think it’s a fight that fans have been talking about for years,” Edgar said. “It’s a superfight. Why not give it to them?”
Edgar is referring to the fact that after he decisioned Charles Oliveira in July, 2013, he didn’t compete again until July, 2014, when he stopped fellow TUF coach, BJ Penn. Edgar returned to the cage not long after, and stopped Cub Swanson in November. But, if he had waited to see what unfolded in the featherweight title shot picture, “The Answer” would have been sidelined for a while.
Aldo-McGregor won’t take place until July 11th, and the division’s #2 ranked Chad Mendes and #4 positioned Ricardo Lamas are fighting on April 4th. So, there wasn’t a lot of options for Edgar, in terms of high profile 145’ers. That is, of course, until the former WEC featherweight champ Faber agreed to fight him…The latter is coming off victories over Alex Caceres and Fransico Rivera, after Faber was stopped by Renan Barao in February, 2014.
Edgar-Faber will headline UFC FN 66, which will go down at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, Philippines. It definitely has the potential to be an outstanding bout.