Tuesday 6 December 2016

'Everyone knows Frankie would whoop his ass' - Manager blasts Conor McGregor for 'ducking' Edgar

Tom Rooney

Published 28/03/2016 | 17:20

Frankie Edgar’s manager has joined his coach in accusing Conor McGregor of actively avoiding the New Jersey native for fear of losing the featherweight title.

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Roughly 24 hours before Conor McGregor unified the featherweight titles by knocking out Jose Aldo in just 13 seconds last December at UFC 194, Frankie Edgar dispatched of Chad Mendes in equally spectacular fashion.

Admittedly, Edgar needed a little longer than the Dubliner to get the job done but, like McGregor, he managed do so before the conclusion of the first round and a pinpoint left hook also proved the telling blow.

The victory over perennial contender Mendes was Edgar’s fifth on the bounce since losing to Aldo in a 2013 title bout. In the immediate aftermath, UFC president Dana White all but guaranteed the 34-year-old the first shot at the winner of the contest between Aldo and McGregor, on live television no less.

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However, Mr White has been known to renege on his promises and, as soon as McGregor expressed the desire to move up a division to challenge lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, Edgar was cast aside.

Needless to say neither the fighter nor his camp were particularly happy with the development and joined a growing list of parties to claim that the promotion were showing blatant favouritism to McGregor.

Of course, Dos Anjos withdrew from what would ultimately be UFC 196 and Nate Diaz was drafted in on 11 days’ notice before going on to submit McGregor via second round rear naked choke in a makeshift welterweight main event.

Edgar is said to have been offered to replace Dos Anjos but was unable to do so with a groin injury.

The SBG man subsequently said that he would return to the featherweight bracket to defend his crown against Aldo or Edgar. But, just over a week ago, Ariel Helwani broke the news that a rematch, also at welterweight, between Diaz and McGregor was close to being booked for UFC 200 on July 9.

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Edgar’s manager, Ali Abdel-Aziz, took to Instagram to vent his rage over his fighter once more being overlooked for a bout that realistically only has a financial relevance.

Despite being on the smaller side, even as a featherweight, Edgar once held the lightweight strap and Aziz claimed that his legacy will be far more lasting and venerable than that of McGregor, who he believes to be selecting foes based on personal whims.

"When history speaks for itself, Frankie Edgar will go down as the guy who fought anyone at any weight, any time, and anywhere. But when history speaks for Conor McGregor, he was a UFC champion who hand picked his opponents and chose a guy out of shape to fight him and he ducked Frankie.”

There is no question that the majority of MMA fans and media would prefer to see the Crumlin man meet Edgar in a championship fight than in a sequel with Diaz, which appears largely predicated on McGregor wanting to prove that his first loss in almost six years was nothing more than an anomaly.

Edgar’s perpetual movement, slick boxing and constrictive grappling would be considered the perfect antidote to defeat McGregor at featherweight, a category in which he’s never lost.

According to Aziz, the UFC are every bit as culpable as McGregor for the circumstances at hand.

"Every media member I talked to, a majority of the fans wants to see Edgar vs McGregor but Conor's coaches since he lost to Nate Diaz for every interview they talk about everyone else except for Frankie."

"At this point I'm blaming the UFC for not making this fight happen because I think it's really up to them and they can make Conor fight Frankie.”

"I'm done with this. It's been a miserable last 4 months talking and negotiating getting this fight to happen but now I realize the only person who needs to step up and say he wants to fight Frankie is Conor.

"But I don't believe he wants to because he and everyone else knows that Frankie would whoop his ass. I have zero respect for a champion who ducks contenders and that's that."

Earlier this week on Irish MMA podcast Talking Brawls, Edgar’s coach, Mark Henry, was equally eviscerating of McGregor’s character and stated that the former plumber has zero intention of ever taking on his student.

“I think Conor is straight out afraid of Frankie, you know, he won’t fight Frankie, even off this last injury they called Nate before they called Frankie.

“You heard off Nate that they were calling him for two months about this fight just in case something happens. Even if Frankie’s groin was ok, they were never going to give this fight to Frankie. It’s typical non-torious, he just keeps running away from Frankie.”

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