When Frankie Edgar defeated Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205, he did more than just get a memorable win.
Edgar, fighting at Madison Square Garden for the first time in his career, defeated Stephens by unanimous decision during the preliminary card of UFC 205. Not only was it the first time ever that the UFC was inside MSG, but title history was made later that night by Conor McGregor. McGregor became the first-ever UFC champion to hold two belts in two different weight classes simultaneously. He now holds both the featherweight and lightweight titles after defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight strap at UFC 205. With McGregor now holding up two weight classes, Edgar deserves the spotlight in the featherweight division.
Following his win over Alvarez, McGregor seemed to be in no rush to make his next move. UFC President Dana White did say prior to the fight that if McGregor won both belts, he’d have to give up one. With rumors of a tough weight cut, McGregor seems most likely to relinquish the featherweight title.
With a possible vacant featherweight championship, Edgar should have a straight path to another title shot. While he did lose to former champ José Aldo for the interim title at UFC 200, Edgar is the only sure thing when it comes to top fighters in the division.
After the McGregor belt fiasco began, Aldo said that he would be willing to retire from MMA completely. He has made it seem that the only fight he will take is against McGregor. So, with the two fighters ranked ahead of him going through disputes, Edgar’s odds of a title bid seem high. If McGregor surrenders his belt and Aldo steps away, then the next title shot in the featherweight division should feature Edgar and the winner of the upcoming showdown between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis, who fight at UFC 206 in Toronto.
In the case that Aldo does return, whether it be as interim champion or the undisputed champ, he should be the one who takes the fight against the winner of the Holloway-Pettis clash, assuming a McGregor rematch is not granted.
Following his win over Stephens, Edgar spoke to the media and discussed a possible move to bantamweight with a potential superfight against Dominick Cruz. For now, Edgar plans to stay in the featherweight division. McGregor is the one fighter that will cement that plan. Much has been said about a fight between Edgar and McGregor, but that fight has never come to fruition.
The UFC and its fans like active fighters, so while McGregor and Aldo feud with the UFC, “The Answer” is the solution in the featherweight division.