After a super fun card at the APEX on Saturday night, the UFC has a familiar name at the top of a new division.
A split decision win for Frankie Edgar over Pedro Munhoz saw ‘The Answer’ become a problem for the contenders at the top of the bantamweight division. Munhoz was ranked #5 in the official UFC rankings before the fight so a win for Edgar, who was ranked #8 in the featherweight division, will likely see him leapfrog into that top 5.
The bantamweight title picture is seemingly quite murky at the moment, with Dana White refusing to commit to making Aljamain Sterling the number 1 contender despite his recent five-fight win streak. That leaves Marlon Moraes, Dominick Cruz and Cory Sandhagen potentially to take the title fight, although Sterling just beat Sandhagen with an 88 second submission win at UFC 250.
After the UFC’s decision to gift Jose Aldo a title shot despite him losing his 135lbs debut to Moraes and having lost 4 of his previous 6 fights in total. He was beaten by Petr Yan at UFC 251 on Fight Island but with Frankie Edgar’s win, you now couldn’t really put it past then potentially fast-tracking him to a title fight.
MMA media and fans were quick to call for Frankie Edgar to fight Dominick Cruz, who was the first ever bantamweight champion but has suffered with crippling injuries over the years. His last fight was at UFC 249 where he took on then champion Henry Cejudo, but was beaten via controversial knockout in the second round.
A fight between Cruz and Edgar would be an exciting bout for fans, with both having a similar style in the sense that footwork comes first and they’re happy to box knowing they have their wrestling to fall back on. Cruz’s kicking game would open up the wrestling for Edgar and it would be fun to see how both would counter the opposite style.
If the UFC aren’t keen to give Sterling the next title shot, they could look to pit him against Edgar in order to determine the next title contender. Should Sterling win, he would solidify his spot but if he lost the UFC would then feel justified in not giving him that shot and would then not feel any way about giving the former lightweight champion a fast-tracked title shot.
The UFC have a hierarchy problem in the bantamweight division right now. Frankie Edgar could be ‘The Answer’ to their issues.