Frankie Edgar Sees Fight With Cory Sandhagen as a Great Way to Hop on The135 “Ladder”
Recently Cory Sandhagen questioned Frankie Edgar's decision to move to 135 at this stage of his career. But, it seems pretty clear that the former lightweight champ's confident he can make some noise in the bantamweight division.
Recently it was announced that Frankie Edgar is going to fight rising bantamweight Cory Sandhagen in the former lightweight champ’s 135 debut. While Sandhagen has scrutinized Edgar’s decision to join the bantamweight ranks, Edgar sounds pretty excited about what could lay ahead.
Edgar’s drop to bantamweight
For several years there was plenty of talk about Edgar possibly fighting at 134 at some juncture. Particularly after Edgar lost to now former featherweight champ Jose Aldo for a second time in 2016. While Edgar was a force at both 155 and 145, due to his size, many people wondered how he would do at 135. Case in point, Edgar’s longtime striking coach Mark Henry has said he wanted Edgar to make the drop years ago.
Edgar’s comments about facing Sandhagen
Well, following Edgar’s loss to current featherweight champ Max Holloway this past summer, the New Jersey fighter announced he’s dropping to bantamweight. On January 25th, at UFC Raleigh, he’ll take on the fast rising Sandhagen.
“He’s very dangerous. He’s No. 3 (in the official UFC rankings), and I still want to fight the best guys in my career, and I feel like fighting No. 3 is a good way to debut at this new weight class,” Edgar said.
“For a guy like Cory to come in and fight someone like myself is definitely good for him, but to me I’m looking at it (like) he’s No. 3, and it’s definitely a good way to get myself on a ladder in the 135-pound division,”
“Hopefully you don’t fight guys as long and tall. This guy I’m fighting is just as tall, so it don’t matter, but maybe I can be the bigger guy,” Edgar said. “Although I don’t think I’ll be the biggest guy at bantamweight, but I’m not going to be giving up as much size as say, 145, but I mean you got to take into consideration the guys are going to be quicker down at bantamweight, as well. So it doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing 100 percent. Of course, each weight class has their own challenges.”
There’s no denying that in fighting Sandhagen, Edgar has been presented with a very short path to the division’s title shot mix. Due to what Edgar has accomplished during his career, it’s not a surprise he’s been given this opportunity either.
But, it’s going to be really interesting to see if Edgar can halt Sandhagen’s rise. The rising fighter has won seven straight fights and Sandhagen has defeated notable names like Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker during that time. Will Sandhagen be able to counter the hand speed, footwork and wrestling of Edgar?