While most of the MMA world watched with glee as Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz exchange verbal unpleasantries at the UFC 196 media event on Wednesday and began clearing their social calendars in order to watch the March 5 event, there was one man that felt no joy.
That man was former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, the man who UFC president Dana White told ESPN, “turned down” the opportunity to replace the injured Rafael dos Anjos and face McGregor at UFC 196.
Edgar, speaking to MMAFighting, took great exception to how he was portrayed by White, saying, “I’m hurt and I can’t take it. I haven’t done anything in four weeks. I didn’t just pull my groin, I tore it. I sent Dana and everyone in the UFC my MRI. I’m even more pissed that Dana’s insinuating that I ‘refused’ to take this fight, which is bullsh-t.”
It’s not just the slight from White that has Edgar so angry, it’s the fact that after Edgar defeated Chad Mendes in December, he was promised a featherweight title shot after that win.
“Nobody can deny Frankie anymore,” White said at the post-fight press conference. “He’ll get whatever he wants.”
That all went up in smoke when McGregor defeated then UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo the very next night and shortly after that decided he was going to move up to face lightweight champion Dos Anjos at UFC 196.
“This is what my team was pissed at," Edgar said. "This dude (McGregor), they were going to let this guy hold the 145-pound title, go up to 55, now two weight classes are being held up. And now they’re saying he’s going to go up to 70. This is a circus. The ‘C’ in UFC stands for Conor. This guy runs the show."