October 15, 2011
Edgar just doesn't stack up
By DAVE HILSON, QMI Agency
No disrespect to Dana White, but it seems a little premature to be anointing Frankie Edgar the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in mixed martial arts when there’s a guy out there named Georges St. Pierre.
White was so enamoured with Edgar’s spectacular come-from-behind knockout victory over Gray Maynard at UFC 136 last weekend that the promotion’s head honcho came out immediately afterward and crowned the lightweight champion the No. 2 guy behind Anderson Silva in the pound-for-pound category, summarily knocking GSP from second spot.
White didn’t back down from his statement when the UFC rolled into town on Wednesday to promote its coming event at the Air Canada Centre on Dec. 10.
“I got a lot of friendly tweets from everyone in Canada after that one,” White said jokingly to a scrum of prodding reporters after the official press conference had ended. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen rude Canadians.”
Few would debate Silva’s place as the reigning pound-for-pound king, but putting Edgar ahead of GSP, well that’s just not right.
“I’ve been in this business for a long time and you become desensitized fight after fight, especially with the amount of fights I’ve been to over the past six weeks. After that Frankie Edgar fight, I’m not kidding you, I could not stop thinking about that fight,” White said in his defence. “What that kid has done is amazing. It’s the kind of thing you see in the movies. If you saw that first round in a movie, you’d be like: ‘That would never happen in real life.’ You couldn’t take that kind of a beating and come back. Plus, you talk to somebody like Gray Maynard, Maynard said: ‘I hit that kid with everything I possibly could’ and he goes: ‘I don’t think that guy has a button.’ And Maynard has never been knocked out in his life, never in training, never in a fight, never.
“Frankie Edgar is an amazing human being. The kid weighs 145 pounds and he’s beaten everybody at a 155, including B.J. Penn, twice. Georges St. Pierre beat (Penn) with a weight advantage, Frankie Edgar beat him with a weight disadvantage. I think the kid is amazing, he blew my mind.”
But the numbers go against White.
The 29-year-old Edgar (14-1-1) has defended the title he won at UFC 112 on only three occasions and one of those defences was a draw against Maynard on Jan. 1. The 30-year-old St. Pierre (22-2-0), meanwhile, has defended the belt he consolidated on April 19, 2008 six consecutive times. Five of those defences were by unanimous decision and one was by TKO. He also TKO’d Matt Serra to claim the belt. Previous to his TKO against Maynard last weekend, Edgar hadn’t finished anybody since Matt Veach back on Dec. 9, 2009, and prior to that it was Mark Bocek on July 7, 2007.
So while White might be right to include Edgar in the pound-for-pound debate, it seems the fighter has a long way to go to reach the heights of the Canadian, St. Pierre. Not even White would want to deny that.
“I love Georges St. Pierre. I’ll tell you what Georges St. Pierre is, he’s the biggest pound-for-pound pay-per-view star in the world … I don’t know how this kid isn’t buried in blue chip sponsorship in Canada. He represents his country, his sport, and the title like no one else.”
And, to borrow a phrase from White, that’s just amazing.
Add light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones (14-1-1) to the list of those who think the Great White North is the pound-for-pound king when it comes to MMA. “I’ve been coming here for many years, training with Georges (St. Pierre), and I’m really just honoured to fight in front of your guys. It’s very obvious in the MMA world that Canadian fans are the most enthusiastic and most passionate about this sport. I really think that Canada is the Mecca when it comes to our support base,” Jones said at an ACC news conference on Wednesday to promote his title defence against Lyoto Machida (17-2-0) at UFC 140 … Machida on training with Anderson Silva: “Anderson has already told me he wants to come up to my hometown and train with me and show me some things and I’m just waiting for that to happen.” … White on Canadian favourite Mark Hominick getting another title shot: “It all starts with his next fight. He has to win, he has to work his way back up the ladder. I agree, he put on a great fight the last time we were here.” Hominick lost in a thrilling featherweight bout to Jose Aldo at UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre.