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Morning Report: Frankie Edgar explains why he’s fighting Yair Rodriguez instead of Ricardo Lamas at UFC 211

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Morning Report: Frankie Edgar explains why he’s fighting Yair Rodriguez instead of Ricardo Lamas at UFC 211

Recently, former UFC lightweight champion and current number two featherweight in the world Frankie Edgar has exchanged social media messages with the third ranked Ricardo Lamas about fight each other. It was a matchup that had some support among the fans, in part because it would have created a natural challenger for the winner of the Jose Aldo vs. Max Holloway title unification bout taking place at UFC 212 in June. However, that fight is not to be. Last week, the UFC announced that Edgar would be taking on rising prospect and ninth-ranked featherweight Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211.

Edgar, who recently signed a new six fight deal with the UFC, went on The Anik and Florian Podcast yesterday where explained how the bout with Rodriguez came to be instead of the de facto title eliminator against Lamas.

“I don’t know. I wanted to fight May 13th. I know [Ricardo] Lamas reached out to me on Twitter a couple of times. I was cool with that fight but the UFC looked like they wanted to go in a different direction. They suggested Yair, and I’m pretty easy so I said, ‘Let’s do it. May 13th sounds pretty good to me.’”

Rodriguez is coming off demolishing UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn in January and has built a good amount of hype with his flashy, athletic style. He is viewed as one of the best young prospects in the game and many believe he has the potential to be a true star. And while Lamas is an established veteran and former title challenger, Edgar says that the hype behind Rodriguez makes this fight potentially even bigger.

“I don’t know [if it’s a bigger fight]. If it’s any indicator in the buzz I’m getting, I’m definitely getting a lot of buzz. This fight seems like a pretty big fight. People are interested in seeing Yair and testing him against someone like myself. So yeah, the buzz has been great with the media and my social network so maybe it is the bigger fight. To me it doesn’t matter. I’ve still got to show up on May 13th and get the job done.”

The bigger fight also comes with a downside; Edgar is risking a lot by taking a fight with Rodriguez. A win for Rodriguez builds his name even more but a win for Edgar doesn’t necessarily get him back to a title shot. Moreover, young prospects lose all the time but a loss for Edgar, still at the top of the division, may spell the end of his title aspirations. Edgar believes that the UFC is probably hoping for that, agreeing that this fight feels a bit like the UFC is setting him up to lose.

“A little bit. I’d be stupid not to see the picture they’re painting here a little bit. Yair’s kind of in a win-win situation I think. He beats me, that’s great for him, it’s good for the UFC to push a prospect. But if he loses, he wasn’t supposed to win, kind of situation. For me, a lot’s on the line.”

Edgar fights Rodriguez at UFC 211 on May 13th in Dallas, Texas.

MUST-READ STORIES

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Interim. Yoel Romero wants an interim title fight against Anderson Silva.

Needle mover. Tony Ferguson wants to fight Nate Diaz next.

Hope. Mauricio Rua says he still has title aspirations but knows he’s not next in line.

Bellator. Bellator signed Conor McGregor’s teammate, BJJ ace Dillon Danis.

MEDIA STEW

Monday Morning Analyst.

UFC 210 preview.

Always great to have Skip Bayless talk MMA.

TTTHS.

ACB puts all their fights online. Here’s Robert Whiteford smoking Nam Phan but there are tons of other fights to check out there.

Cody calling TJ a generic version of Cruz.

LISTEN UP

Brit Pack.

Jack Slack.

TFATK.

TWEETS

Lookin’ for a fight.

@RdosAnjosMMA your on a 2 fight losing streak at a lower weight class. You ain’t jumping to front of 170 ahead of me without a fight

— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 13, 2017

@ColbyCovMMA hey man, I had to google your name to know how you are. Keep begging.

— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) March 14, 2017

I will give you a fighting lesson then a English lesson moron. Sign the dotted line and I will end you. https://t.co/MSJKQwDSAZ

— Colby Covington (@ColbyCovMMA) March 14, 2017

Timeline.

I see you June 3? @BulletValentina

— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) March 13, 2017

UFC offered fight in Apr, you declined. Was told U would be back July. My schedule planned till July. Any where/anytime in July @Amanda_Leoa

— Valentina Shevchenko (@BulletValentina) March 13, 2017

Aren’t you not a flyweight?

What’s up man are we gonna fight? @JoeJitsu

— Justin Scoggins (@ScogginsFlow) March 13, 2017

Legends division.

Somos três grandes profissionais, o que faz mais sentido neste momento, não é a luta dele com qualquer outro, mas sim comigo, independente de cinturão. Independente do show, nós nos respeitamos, uma nova luta entre nós, seria um grande combate de cavalheiros. . Até porque com o Nick, foi um No Contest, temos história pra contar, te espero no Brasil. . E aguardo você Mr. Bisping, depois da sua luta com GSP. . Exterminar de uma vez por todas esta dúvida dos fãs sobre quem realmente venceu. . We are three great professionals, what makes the most sense at the moment, is not his fight with any other, but with me, regardless of belt. Regardless of the show, we respect each other, a new fight between us, would be a great fight of gentlemen. . Because with Nick, it was a No Contest, we have a story to tell, I’ll wait for you in Brazil. . And I’m waiting for you, Mr. Bisping, after your fight with GSP. . Exterminate once and for all this doubt of the fans about who really won.

A post shared by Anderson Silva (@spiderandersonsilva) on Mar 13, 2017 at 1:13am PDT

Cain update.

Quick update for all my fans. #SiSePuede pic.twitter.com/bvZGq0eaQ4

— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) March 14, 2017

Cash her inside the octagon, only on FightPass.

Umm, I’ll do it #CashMeInOctagon https://t.co/SmyZVlbaVm

— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) March 13, 2017

Cody.

Thanks coach @sixgungibson for the Championship gift!!

A post shared by Cody Garbrandt (@cody_nolove) on Mar 13, 2017 at 12:15pm PDT

Heel Bisping.

Little bit desperate @yoelromeromma Interim titles are when the the champ isn’t fighting or injured. I’m defending my belt later this year. Patience is a virtue. You should know!

A post shared by Mikebisping (@mikebisping) on Mar 13, 2017 at 10:01pm PDT

Yoel knows.

I want to solidify my position as #1 no matter who wins. GSP says he plans, he wins and I might not be in those plans, this gives me winner https://t.co/LEY2Rp5lCN

— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) March 13, 2017

Who’s to say GSP if he wins he decides to fight anderson. This might be the only way #ynuevo https://t.co/iyWyw8dRkm

— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) March 13, 2017

Dana also said I was the only fight for @bisping #ynuevo https://t.co/SSHa2sGcU8

— Peoples Champ (@YoelRomeroMMA) March 13, 2017

FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Misha Cirkunov (13-2) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (13-1); UFC Fight Night: Stockholm, May 28.

TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2014: Pat Curran became the Bellator featherweight champion by submitting Daniel Straus at Bellator 112.

2015: Rafael dos Anjos became the UFC lightweight champion, winning a unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis at UFC 185. In the co-main event that evening, Joanna Jedrzejczyk stopped Carla Esparza to become the UFC strawweight championship.

FINAL THOUGHTS

That’s all folks. See y’all tomorrow.

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.

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