Before I begin my assessment of Dana White’s words while in being interviewed with Ariel Helwani right after UFC 136, let me just say, I am completely sold on Frankie Edgar as a UFC champion. Not only as a champion but as the best lightweight there is in MMA today.
Not that I wasn’t before, I just really thought Gray Maynard would finally come out on top in this third fight, actually, even Randy Couture felt confident about that but of course, Frankie Edgar proved us wrong. Or was it Gray?
So history has been written, Frankie Edgar finished Gray Maynard after again surviving a first round destruction, and Dana White goes on screen to say that “Frankie Edgar is the number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
And just like the headline to this piece I said: “come on Dana, Really?” Of course if you have been following MMA and UFC for sometime you already know Mr. White is the stick to where they tie all opinionated people in the world. He will speak his mind freely whether the fans agree or disagree, like or dislike.
And yes I know he is responsible for a lot of the big changes MMA has gone through in the last 10 years and has worked incessantly to make the UFC what it is, the biggest MMA show in the world. But does all that mean he has to be right every time he puts out his opinion.
Today I stand here in disagreement with the UFC brass. Like I said, I am completely sold on Frankie Edgar as an amazing lightweight champion but, number two pound-for-pound in the world? I think that is a bit premature to say the least and let me tell you why.
For some time Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre were tagged as the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world with no clear view on who was really on top. This past year, more specifically since UFC 117, Anderson Silva has taken the undisputed lead for that spot with over the top finishes against Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, not to mention, a come-back-to-break-your-heart win against “Super Mouth” Chael Sonnen.
Silva has proven to be out-of-league for the middleweight division in the UFC.
On the other hand, and although Georges St. Pierre has equally wiped out the UFC welterweight division at least twice (except for a Carlos Condit), and even though his dominance has been absolute in all his fights since losing to Mat Serra, GSP has been unable to finish fights, something that seems to be deducting points off his pound-for-pound chart.
In all fairness, GSP has been facing and defeating the best of the best of the best the UFC welterweight division has had to offer. Why bring him down from the number two spot in the pound-for-pound ladder to bring up a guy [Frankie Edgar] that first of all has a tied record with the only guy [Gray Maynard] to have ever defeated him?
Yes, I know, the finish gives Frankie the edge, but it’s still a tied score, a win a piece. Failing to see that as a tied score is the same as buying into Chael Sonnen’s rhetoric about how he won against Silva because he beat him for 20 minutes and Silva only held his head down for seven seconds.
Frankie Edgar defeated former lightweight demi god B.J. Penn twice, but failed to damage Penn or to excerpt absolute, aggressive dominance over him. Georges St. Pierre on the other hand has destroyed the faces of all his opponents since regaining his title from Matt Serra and nearly finished Josh Koscheck’s career with only his jab.
But the burning questions if you really want to compare Edgar to GSP for the number two spot in the pound-for-pound race would be: how many fighters within the top five of the lightweight division has Frankie Edgar defeated? How many times has GSP gone through the top ten of his own division?
I’d say GSP at least once went over the whole top ten welterweight list, his record is fairly even between KO or TKO finishes and decision wins, and then some submissions.
Frankie Edgar’s win column overwhelmingly favors decision wins, and they still say it’s GSP who can’t finish fights? Yes, he finished Gray, but again, was it Edgar who finished Gray Maynard or was it Maynard who finished himself off by not sticking to the game plan and go out on a head hunt deploying all his energy? Not trying to take away anything from Edgar, his heart, skills, and condition are second to none.
There shouldn’t be a doubt that Frankie is right in there with the best of the best in today’s MMA but number two pound-for-pound? Come on Dana, Really?
Thanks for reading.
Originally posted at The MMA Truth.