Former Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight king Frankie Edgar believes he deserves to be next in line to face whomever emerges victorious at UFC 226 on July 7 when Max Holloway faces off against the man who sensationally knocked out Edgar in Brian Ortega.
Edgar was initially slated to fight the Holloway for the title at UFC 222 when an injury forced the Hawaiian off the card and the undefeated Brian Ortega agreed to fight Edgar on short notice. Ortega emerged victorious, handing the New Jersey native the first knockout loss of his 13-year career.
After the bout, Edgar agreed to take on another short-notice fight when he accepted a rematch with Cub Swanson at UFC Atlantic City, just seven weeks after his knockout by Ortega. Edgar came out victorious again via unanimous decision and feels he’s reaffirmed his status as the next fighter to challenge for the title.
“I still think I’m the guy,” Edgar told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “S**t, I risked that shot, maybe I shouldn’t have like people said, but I’m going to do it every single time. I still believe I can win that fight (with Ortega). I was doing well in that fight, obviously I got caught and Ortega did a good job of finishing.
“But yeah, I want the winner. I think I deserve it. I’m No. 3. We’ll see what happens.”
While Edgar hasn’t received official confirmation from the UFC matchmakers that he’s next in line, he believes he’s in good with UFC brass by accepting the bout with Swanson to bolster the event in his home state of New Jersey.
It was a win-win situation for Edgar and the UFC as he wanted to make amends for his recent loss and the UFC got two household names added to the card.
“Everything’s got to work out the right way, I guess,” Edgar said. “I did my part last Saturday, I’m glad, that’s why I jumped in quick because I want to be back knocking on this door and here I am knocking on this door. I think I’m the guy.”
If Edgar gets his wish he’ll have his hands full with either opponent. Holloway has won 12 straight fights whereas Ortega is a huge featherweight, is undefeated and is the guy who handed Edgar his first knockout.
While Edgar would prefer to have a rematch with Ortega to avenge his loss, he doesn’t seem too fazed who he gets as long as it’s for the title.
“Either one would be great as long as we get that title on the line, I’m all in,” Edgar said. “Of course, I’d like a chance at Ortega, but if Max wins, Max shows that he’s the man and I want to go beat the man.”