After Conor McGregor’s unsuccessful jump to 170 pounds against Nate Diaz at UFC 196, all signs are pointing to the Irishman going back to 145 pounds to defend his featherweight title for his next fight. While that may be all but cemented, his opponent is not.
Both Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo have been lobbying to face McGregor for his world title. Aldo — who sat atop many pound-for-pound lists prior to the fight — seeks to gain revenge after McGregor scored a scintillating 13-second knockout of the Brazilian at UFC 194. Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has won five fights in a row, including a first-round knockout over Chad Mendes back in December, and has been vocal about earning his spot.
The UFC has a tough decision to make but McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, is leaning toward the former featherweight champion.
"Me personally, maybe the Aldo rematch, I’d like to see that again," Kavanagh said on “The MMA Hour” Monday. "I just think the first one was great for us, but it was a little bit unfulfilling … a little bit. I think Aldo has a fantastic set of skills, he was a great champion and I didn’t think that quite closed the chapter on that. So, [let’s] see a proper fight.”
But Kavanagh says that he wouldn’t mind seeing his fighter defend his title against Edgar, either.
"Or Frankie, he’s a great fighter as well," he said. "[But] Frankie’s lost to Aldo and Aldo just had such an amazing run. He just got caught with that very, very hard shot and went down fast. That’s just how that fight went. But just for me, because I think I learned so much just watching it, to have a good back-and-forth fight, I just think it would be for me I’d get a year’s worth of material to coach off for the next 20 years.”
Aldo agrees with Kavanagh’s sentiments and said his piece with an Instagram post.
“Frankie Edgar, I heard you were asking for a title shot,” Aldo’s post read. “I respect you as a fighter, but let’s check the facts: you lost twice to Ben Henderson before coming to the 145 division and getting a title shot against me without having fought once in the featherweight division…You can’t come here now and cut the line, you have to wait because you don’t have any right to ask for a title shot yet.”
It appears that the UFC will likely make a decision quickly considering that McGregor was not medically suspended and there was already a plan in place for him to headline UFC 200. Both Aldo and Edgar seem ready to fight on that date, which will be July 9 at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Kavanagh also figures that his pupil will be ready to compete at that time.
"I would push for [UFC 200]," Kavanagh said. "I would like to fight, and that is what he is driven to do. He’s not the guy to go off to sit on the beach for a couple of weeks. He’s just not that way.”