While many were shocked at how fast Conor McGregor‘s knockout of Jose Aldo was at UFC 194, Frankie Edgar’s coach Mark Henry stated recently that he is more shocked at how fast McGregor appears to be running from his fighter.
As Henry explained, when Aldo pulled out of his originally scheduled title defense against McGregor at UFC 189 earlier this year, both Chad Mendes and Edgar were asked about possibly stepping in. According to Henry, while Mendes ultimately accepted the fight, he claimed he wasn’t in shape as he was shooting a hunting show, while Edgar claimed to be in-shape as he trains all year and is always in fighting shape. The outcome, as everyone saw, was that UFC went with McGregor vs. Mendes, even though Edgar was the higher ranked contender at the time.
Regardless, when Edgar demolished Mendes at the TUF 22 Finale this past Friday, he was told by UFC President Dana White that he is guaranteed the next shot at the winner of the Aldo-McGregor bout scheduled for the following night at UFC 194. As we all saw, McGregor won, with ease, yet is still talking about fighting everyone but “The Answer.”
McGregor spoke about a potential rematch with Aldo, but primarily expressed his desire to move up in weight and challenge for the UFC Lightweight title against the winner of this Saturday’s Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC On FOX 17. He briefly spoke about a potential Edgar bout, but hasn’t really focused his promotional efforts on such a bout the way he has the potential Aldo rematch or lightweight title fight.
“I saw Conor’s coach’s [John Kavanaugh’s] remark on your show [The MMA Hour]..Bro, why is his boy running so bad?” Henry asked Helwani this past Monday afternoon. “Now, he has [had] two chances to fight Frankie. First was when Aldo got hurt [before UFC 189] and the UFC asked Chad [Mendes] ‘Have you been training?’ and he said no, he’s been doing a hunting show.
“They asked Frankie, and he said, ‘I train all year, yeah, I’m ready.’ He picks Mendes.”
Henry continued to talk about the differences between his fighter, Edgar, and the current 145-pound champ, McGregor, pointing out the differences in their “heart” inside the cage by referencing an old McGregor fight where he tapped out while caught in a kneebar.
“Now Frankie finishes the same guy [Mendes] he [McGregor] had on 10-day notice that spanked him until he got tired, and Frankie does his part,” Henry said. “This fight comes down to both, when they were in beginning of their career, when both [were] in a kneebar, Frankie says, ‘Break it off,’ and he [McGregor] taps before the guy has a good grip. They’re not even made [from] close to the same heart.”
Henry concluded, “No one has ever been able to jump up in weight class before taking care of the top five, and this guy doesn’t even have one defense,” Henry said. “The guy says he would fight Frankie if Frankie took care of business. Well, he did, so he should be a man of his word and stop being so scared. He’s the one that’s been scared for so many years cutting down from 180, 175 to fight guys with less range, weight and height, while Frankie was 152 fighting 155.
“So now you have the belt – man up and defend it. Like they said in Braveheart, ‘Don’t tuck tail and run.'”