Well before the fight was made official in late August, Frankie
Edgar had already spent some time preparing for a possible
matchup against Jose Aldo,
according to manager Ali Abdel-Aziz.
The former UFC lightweight titlist was apparently confident that
he’d eventually cross paths with the current featherweight
champion. Then, when Erik Koch
withdrew from a title shot against Aldo on Oct. 13 at UFC
153, Edgar was offered the matchup sooner rather than
“Frankie called me and he said Dana [White] had called him and he
offered him a fight against Jose Aldo,”
Abdel-Aziz told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Rewind” show. “Frankie
just called me and we talked to Mark Henry, we talked to coach
Almeida, Frankie’s family, and we agreed. Five minutes later we
called Dana and said we’d take the fight.”
Edgar had only taken three days off after his controversial
split-decision loss to Benson
Henderson on Aug. 11, Abdel-Aziz said. The decision to fight
Aldo was a no-brainer.
“Frankie fought B.J. Penn two
times,” Abdel-Aziz explained. “Gray
Maynard. He fought Ben Henderson, Sean Sherk.
These are all big fights. These guys are all great champions or
most of those guys were champions. We definitely think Jose Aldo’s
a great champion also, but this is something Frankie’s been
training for all his life. Frankie had Jose Aldo on the radar for a
while. Frankie had been training for Aldo for a while.”
A matchup between Aldo and Edgar had been talked about for some
time. However, Edgar seemed reluctant to leave the 155-pound
division. After a second loss to Henderson, the opportunity to drop
to featherweight made sense.
“Honestly, Frankie always looks for a big fight,” Abdel-Aziz said.
“At this point in Frankie’s career, Frankie wants to fight the
best. He was probably going to fight 145 one time and fight Aldo.
... He said you know what? The UFC likes it, I like it. The fans
want a superfight. Many superfights have been talked about, but
nobody’s stepping up to the plate. Frankie said, ‘I’ll step to the
plate and I’m going to give the fans what they want.’”
It doesn’t mean Edgar is done with the lightweight class,
“Frankie’s also keeping his eyes on the 155 division,” Abdel-Aziz
said. “Frankie will go back one day. Hopefully he’ll get the title
back and this title too. Hopefully he’ll have two titles.”
Listen to the full
interview (beginning at 8:52).