After UFC Vegas 7, what’s next for Frankie Edgar?

Frankie Edgar

Last Saturday night at UFC Vegas 7, former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar (24-8-1), made a successful bantamweight debut. Edgar edged out the fifth ranked bantamweight in the UFC, Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC).

This was the third weight class that Edgar has competed in during his hall of fame career. Given Edgar’s size, he looked like he was finally in his natural weight class after always being the smallest guy at lightweight and featherweight.

Edgar is expected to debut this week in the top five of the bantamweight rankings after his victory over Munhoz. With Aljamain Sterling getting the next shot at the champion Petr Yan, what should the UFC do with Edgar’s next fight?

UFC and Edgar’s next steps

Dana White said in the post-fight press conference that Edgar needed to win one or two more times before he could get a shot at the UFC bantamweight title. Realistically, I would say he just needs one more win to earn that shot.

The UFC loves Edgar, and if he comes out and looks impressive in another win, I could see them giving him a title shot. However, booking Edgar against another contender might not be easy.

If you examine the rankings, all of the guys who will be in front of Edgar are already booked. The UFC champ, Yan, is likely fighting Sterling. Marlon Moraes is booked to fight Corey Sandhagen in October. Cody Garbrandt is moving down to flyweight so he’s not in the picture.

That leaves Edgar with no one in front of him in the rankings at the moment. He just defeated Munhoz, and I can’t see the UFC booking him against Jose Aldo, who is ranked sixth, for the third time. So who should he fight?

Two Options

To me, there are two options that the UFC could go with right now. If the promotion wants to give him someone that makes sense with rankings, I’d go with Jimmie Rivera (23-4). Rivera is ranked seventh and is coming off of a win against Cody Stamann at UFC Fight Island 1.

Rivera tried to step in to fight Edgar on short notice after Munhoz originally tested positive for COVID-19, but Edgar decided to wait on Munhoz. El Terror felt that Edgar was dodging the fight. A matchup between the two could bring a little heat.

The other option would be the biggest one the UFC could make on name recognition. How about a fight with former bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (22-3)? Cruz is coming off of a title fight loss to Henry Cejudo at UFC 249.

The two men are legends of the sport, and it would make for an extremely interesting matchup. The winner could likely jump right back to a UFC title shot. If I’m Dana White, I would start with this one, but if I’m a fight fan, I’d be happy to see Edgar fight either one of Rivera or Cruz next.

Frankie Edgar proves he’s still elite at UFC Vegas 7

There were many questions about Frankie Edgar (24-8-1) entering UFC Vegas 7. He was making his bantamweight debut at the age of 38 after spending his entire career at lightweight and featherweight.

Of course, Edgar was diving right into the deep end taking on the UFC‘s fifth ranked contender in Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC). It was a sink or swim test for Edgar in his first outing at bantamweight. After a five round war, Edgar proved that he can still swim with the best of them.

UFC Bantamweight’s Newest Contender

In an instant classic, Edgar and Munhoz went to war. Both men had big moments in the fight. Both men wobbled the other at various points, and both displayed crisp striking over five rounds.

In the end, the two of the three judges gave the split decision to the former UFC lightweight champion Edgar. It was a razor close fight, but I believe that the judges got this one right. Munhoz had big moments, but Edgar’s output and higher number of strikes landed won the fight on my scorecard as well.

One of the UFC‘s most dynamic divisions just got a little more dynamic and deep with Edgar making his successful debut. With defeating the top five ranked Munhoz, expect Edgar to be in the top five to start the week next week.

Personally, I would like to see Edgar get one more win in the division before getting a UFC title shot. Aljamain Sterling has worked for and earned the next shot, but Dana White has yet to confirm that he’s next for the UFC‘s champion, Petr Yan.

Either way, at UFC Vegas 7, Edgar proved that he belongs at bantamweight. He didn’t tire from the weight cut, and he looked just as sharp as ever. One has to wonder what it would have been like if he jumped straight to bantamweight instead of his time at featherweight.

UFC Vegas 7 Preview: Will Pedro Munhoz spoil Frankie Edgar’s bantamweight debut?

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

Tomorrow night, the UFC is back at it for their seventh event at the APEX since returning earlier this summer. In the main event of the evening, Frankie Edgar (23-8-1) will be making his bantamweight debut against Pedro Munhoz (18-4). Let’s take a dive into the main card for tomorrow night.

Munhoz welcomes Edgar to the UFC’s bantamweight division

At 38 years old, Frankie Edgar is going to be competing in his third weight class inside the UFC. He might be competing in the weight class that has been best suited for him this whole time. Pedro Munhoz is the perfect guy to test that theory.

Edgar comes down to bantamweight after losing his last two fights at featherweight although one was a short notice loss to Chan Sung Jung back in December. Edgar bailed the UFC out by taking the last minute fight to preserve a main event. He got finished for his efforts.

Before that, Edgar fought to a decision loss with then champion, Max Holloway. It was Edgar’s third featherweight title shot and he went 0-3 in those shots. Edgar is the former UFC lightweight champion and one of the better fighters of this last era.

Edgar is known for his speed, his footwork, his cardio, and his wrestling. While always being the smallest guy at lightweight and many times at featherweight, he would have an advantage in most of those categories. It’ll be interesting to see if it translates to bantamweight.

Pedro Munhoz really blew up when he knocked out former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt, back at UFC 235. Munhoz was always considered a very solid contender, but that was the first time people really got to see him on a championship level.

Munhoz is coming off of a decision loss to top contender, Aljamain Sterling. Had Munhoz won that fight, he might have fought for the title. Munhoz has good striking with good power. He also has very good submissions with his signature being his guillotine.

This is such an interesting matchup. While you’d think the guy coming down would have the strength/power advantage, that’s not the case. I would give those advantages to the guy who’s competed at bantamweight, Munhoz.

To me, the fight comes down to how it ends. If there’s a stoppage whether it be submission or knockout, Pedro Munhoz will win this fight. If it goes the distance, Edgar’s activity will be enough. I believe Edgar is still durable enough to make it five rounds, and I think he’s going to have a close but successful debut at bantamweight tomorrow night.

Prediction: Frankie Edgar by Unanimous Decision

Ovince St. Preux vs Alonzo Menifield

After one weird fight at heavyweight, Ovince St. Preux (24-14) heads back to the UFC‘s light heavyweight division against Alonzo Menifield (9-1) in the co-main event of the evening.

OSP has been a consistent light heavyweight contender over the years. He’s got good power, good submissions, and good wrestling. He’s used those tools to get wins over guys like Corey Anderson, Shogun Rua, and Yushin Okami.

OSP most notably stepped in for Daniel Cormier to fight Jon Jones at UFC 197 for the interim light heavyweight title. While Jones won the fight, OSP at least proved that he could stand in there with the greatest of all time.

St. Preux made the choice to try to move up to heavyweight in his last fight back in May against Ben Rothwell. While OSP had moments, his lack of activity led to his split decision loss. After one attempt, it’s back to the 205 well for OSP.

Heading into UFC 250, Alonzo Menifield was 9-0 with all nine wins coming via stoppage. Six of those wins came in the first round and he never saw a third round. That all changed that night.

Devin Clark was able to withstand the power and drag Menifield into a decision fight. We saw that Menifield does not have a style that carries well over three rounds and Clark got the decision victory.

With Menifield, you know what you’re going to get. He’s a world beater in the first round and even early in the second, but if you can survive that, you should be okay. The opening minutes will say a lot about the outcome.

Can Menifield catch OSP and put him away or can St. Preux drag Menifield into some deep water. St. Preux has only been finished twice in his UFC career with the last one coming in 2016 to Jimi Manuwa.

I keep going back and forth because I can see both men winning. I can easily see Menifield getting the knockout, and I can also see OSP surviving to get a decision. With no confidence at all, I’m going to say OSP gets dropped early, but is able to survive and win the final two rounds to edge Menifield in the co-main event.

Prediction: Ovince St. Preux by Unanimous Decision

Mike Rodriguez vs Marcin Prachnio

The third fight on the main card pairs a couple of UFC light heavyweights against each other as “Slow” Mike Rodriguez (10-4, 1 NC) takes on Marcin Prachnio (13-4).

This is the first fight in two years for Prachnio. Prachnio made his UFC debut back in February of 2018 with a decent amount of hype. He came over from One Championship and was riding a eight fight winning streak.

In those eight fights, he had two decision wins and six first round knockouts. Many people were excited to see him, but he completely failed to deliver in his first two UFC fights.

The karate black belt was knocked out twice in the first round by Sam Alvey and Magomed Ankalaev. After that, he disappeared for a couple of years. Those fights were atrocious, but Prachnio does have good skills and striking. We just don’t know what were going to get with him.

Rodriguez got a contract after a flying knee knockout on Dana White’s Contender Series. However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for him inside the promotion. He’s really gone 1-3, but one of the losses was overturned to a no contest.

Rodriguez has good size and pretty good power for the division. He fights very long and will come at you with a variety of strikes on the feet. He’s awkward to fight, but he’s very effective when he’s on.

This is such a weird fight for the main card, and a difficult one to predict. Prachnio is not as bad as he looked in his first two fights, but I’m also not sold that he’s very good. Frankly, I’m not sure what to expect, but I think we see a finish in the second round in this one.

Prediction: Mike Rodriguez by TKO – Round 2

Takashi Sato vs Daniel Rodriguez

A popular fight of the night pick comes your way in the second fight of the evening as exciting UFC prospects Takashi Sato (16-3) and Daniel Rodriguez (12-1) go head-to-head.

In his last fight in June, Sato showed just how dangerous and clean his striking was. Taking on UFC newcomer, Jason Witt, Sato got the win in just 48 seconds. It was Sato’s second win by TKO since joining the promotion.

In three fights since making the jump from Pancrase, Sato is 2-1 with his one loss being to Belal Muhammad. In that fight, Muhammad dominated with his wrestling and got the submission. Sato should thrive in a matchup that is contested on the feet.

Daniel Rodriguez wasn’t given a UFC contract after his Contender Series appearance, but that didn’t slow him down. He went out and got a quick second round finish in his next fight to get the call up to the big leagues.

In two fights, Rodriguez has a submission over Tim Means and a decision of Gabriel Green. Rodriguez has tremendous power and very good striking. He also has good submission skills if the fight hits the mat.

In analyzing this fight, I keep thinking about striking technique. This fight should be a stand up war, and I like Sato’s technique more. I also believe that he has a little more diversity in his attack. This is another close matchup, but I like Sato in this one.

Prediction: Takashi Sato by Unanimous Decision

Mariya Agapova vs Shana Dobson

The opening fight of the main card is truly a showcase fight for flyweight prospect Mariya Agapova (9-1) as she takes on Shana Dobson (3-4).

At just 23 years old, Agapova is one of the brightest prospects in women’s MMA. She’s good on the feet, she’s good on the ground, she’s honestly good everywhere. Agapova is the true total package.

In her UFC debut back in June, she absolutely stormed through Hannah Cifers. It was her third straight first round finish (two by submission). Agapova looks to be the real deal in the flyweight division.

Dobson comes into this fight on a three fight losing streak. She’s a veteran of the Ultimate Fighter, but if you count her stint on the show, she’s just 1-4 in her last five fights. That one win wasn’t very impressive either.

There is really not an area of this fight where I believe Dobson has an advantage. In a way she’s playing the role of sacrificial lamb. Her only chance is really to land a flukey punch. I don’t foresee this fight going very long.

Prediction: Mariya Agapova by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) – Round 1

UFC Vegas 7 Outlook

This is such a fun fight card when you break it down. UFC on Vegas 7 has five main card fights, and four of them could truly go either way. I’m very curious to see how Frankie Edgar looks in his bantamweight debut. If Munhoz can spoil the party, it’ll be the biggest win of his career.

UFC: Yoel Romero out of August 22nd fight with Uriah Hall

The UFC is losing one of the more anticipated middleweight matchups it has planned over the next couple of months. First reported by BJPenn.com and confirmed by multiple sources, Yoel Romero (13-5) has been forced out of his fight with Uriah Hall (15-9).

The fight was expected to be the co-main event of the evening of UFC on ESPN 15 which takes place in eleven days. As of now, there is no reason as to why Romero has had to pull out of the contest.

What does the UFC do?

Obviously this is a tough blow to the main card of UFC on ESPN 15. This fight was arguably more anticipated than the main event between Frankie Edgar and Pedro Munhoz.

We will have to wait to see the reasoning behind Romero pulling out of the UFC contest. If it’s something that will force him to be out for a considerable amount of time, the promotion might look to find a replacement for Hall.

However, if the UFC is able to rebook this fight rather quickly, they might just push it back altogether. This was a massive fight for both of the men involved.

For Hall, this was truly a chance to break through after years of trying. A win over a guy like Yoel Romero would have put Hall only a win or two away from a UFC title shot. This is the closest he’s arguably been in his career.

For Romero, the Hall fight was his chance to get back on track. Romero again failed to capture UFC gold back in March when he lost to Israel Adesanya. The fight was the third straight that Romero had lost.

Again, this is a tough blow for the UFC on ESPN 15 card. It will be interesting to see what the promotion does. Who knows, maybe Khamzat Chimaev will give the UFC a call since he’s wanting to fight desperately this month.