Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar feels as though he's been passed over multiple times for another crack at the featherweight title. So, as he readies to take on Chad Mendes in yet another title-eliminator's bout in Las Vegas, just a day before Conor McGregor and champion Jose Aldo are set to clash for the belt in the same city, Edgar has half his mind on that fight instead of the one he's scheduled for.
"If [either McGregor or Aldo get] hurt, I'm the guy stepping in," he recently told UFC.com.
"And, that's from [UFC president] Dana White. You can print that in bold letters!"
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Perhaps we will. White's word on who will get title shots next isn't exactly bond, these days -- as Stipe Miocic, Andrei Arlovski, and Miesha Tate can attest -- but it is still noteworthy that Edgar claims he's been given official word that he's on stand-by in case a last minute fill-in should be needed, as it was in July at UFC 189 when Aldo injured his ribs. If it were anyone but "The Answer," we'd be tempted to wonder if he could handle that type of mental double-duty of thinking about not one but three different possible opponents during his training camp.
He still does have a singular focus, however, and it's on becoming a world champion once more. As such, the New Jersey fighter doesn't care who he fights, as long as it gets him that title.
"I want that title," he said. "That, to me, is the most important thing," he continued.
"Conor may be the money fight, but when you win a title that stays with you forever. Money comes and goes. You're a champ for the rest of your life. I did it at 155 and I want to do it at 145...There's gonna be more big wins for me."
None of that is to say that Edgar is overlooking Mendes. "I put all of my opponents on a pedestal," he promised.
"Anything can happen, and there are so many unknowns in this sport, so I'm always thinking they're having a great camp, they're learning new things, and they're going to come in in tip-top shape. That always keeps me motivated."