Last week Conor McGregor broke news that he had contacted the Ultimate Fighting Championship and offered to fight Frankie Edgar on short notice as an injury replacement at UFC 222 after Edgar’s previous opponent, Max Holloway, pulled out with an injury. The UFC decided to match Edgar with No. 3-ranked Brian Ortega instead of bringing in the popular Irishman as it wasn’t deemed enough time to properly promote the fight to its full potential given the short time frame.
After this news broke Ali Abdelaziz (Edgar’s manager) tweeted the following:
When conor called the ufc he asked them create a 165lb belt. He thinks @danawhite was born yesterday. This is fact. Waiting for response Mr. Helwani. #BeefIsReal
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) February 22, 2018
McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammate Artem Lobov talked with Ariel Helwani on the “MMA Hour” recently to weigh in on the subject.
“(It was) very close (to happening)…very, very close,” Lobov told Helwani. “It was real, 100 percent. Conor was ready to go, we were gathering the troops already, we were ready to go.”
“We were planning what we were going to do; we were just going to fly out to Vegas straightaway to do a short little camp. Plans were in place and everything — everything was ready to go. Conor wanted to fight. I was talking to him the whole time and he was ready to go and show the world what he can do.”
After months of uncertainty, Conor McGregor came out of the woodwork last week to announce that he was fighting again. He even revealed that he offered to step in as a last-minute replacement for Max Holloway to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
The Edgar camp, in turn, had disputed McGregor’s statement through manager Ali Abdel-Aziz. On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Edgar himself issued his own response.
“I think if it was real, Dana would’ve called me personally,” Edgar told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “He’s done before. With something like that, Dana would’ve called me personally, and he didn’t, so I have to think that it wasn’t real.”
“I don’t know, I think Conor’s just being Conor, man,” he added. “He’s the best at it, right? He’s the best at making news and staying relevant. I don’t mean relevant, he’s the most popular guy in our sport, this and that, but staying in the news cycle. He does it better than anybody, except maybe Floyd Mayweather.
“I’m not surprised by it, and I’m not getting sidetracked by it because it doesn’t matter. It’s non-news to me. Because the news is I’m fighting a guy who fights in the UFC right now, Brian Ortega.”
Abdel-Aziz recently claimed via Twitter that McGregor called the UFC to open up a 165-pound weight class for the Edgar fight. Frankie found this a bit odd, which made him cast more doubts.
“I mean, come on, there is no 165-pound belt. You know what I’m saying?” Edgar said. “I want to fight on the moon. You know what I mean? Come on.”
“He doesn’t want to defend his own belt. What, he wants to fight me? I mean, hey, that’d be great. That’d be great for me. Let’s be real. I’m not scared to fight anybody. Come on, I’ve been doing too long to be scared to fight anybody. I mean, if anything, that would be very good for me, to fight Conor McGregor.”