There’s never a dull moment in UFC.
A war of words has broken out between featherweight contender Frankie Edgar and UFC head Dana White after the fighter was offended with comments the CEO made about Edgar’s refusal to fight Conor McGregor.
Frankie Edgar was one of the first fighters contacted by the UFC after Rafael dos Anjos withdrew from the forthcoming UFC196 main event with injury.
UFC supremos had identified Edgar and former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo as their preferred fighters to replace Dos Anjos on 11 days’ notice. Unfortunately for them, Edgar had a torn groin.
But that didn’t stop White claiming that the New Jersey brawler had “refused” to consider fighting McGregor.
But Edgar told MMA Fighting: “I got a call from promoter Ali Abdelaziz saying that Rafael Dos Anjos got hurt, and that the UFC had texted Ali to ask him, ‘Will Frankie fight McGregor at lightweight?’ And I’ve been hurt for the past four weeks.”
The 34-year-old continued: “I’m pissed off for a couple of reasons. I’m pissed off that I’ve this opportunity has slipped through again. I’m the one who’s been trying to fight McGregor for months now. I’m flying myself to Vegas on my own dime to lobby for a fight with this guy. Now here comes the opportunity, but 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.”
Edgar was left fuming after learning of barbs Dana White made when announcing the fight between Conor McGregor and Dos Anjos’ eventual replacement, Californian fighter Nate Diaz.
Edgar said: “I’m even more pissed that Dana’s insinuating that I ‘refused’ to take this fight, which is bullshit.
“Just because they asked me doesn’t mean they were going to give it to me anyway. Because in July, they asked me to take the UFC 189 fight on 15 days’ notice, which of course I accepted, and I still didn’t get it.”
Edgar was left questioning would he have gotten the McGregor fight even if he had accepted it.
“I have a feeling that if I had said yes, that fight still would have gone to Nate Diaz. I think Diaz was the fight they were trying to make since the beginning. From what I hear, they contacted Nate even before they contacted me.
“But now Dana wants to go around saying that I ‘refused’ to take this fight.
“I don’t know if he’s going to try to use it against me in the future when another opportunity comes up, and he’s going to say, ‘Well, you had your opportunity and you said no.’”
Loaded sports writer Pearse Corcoran has covered news, sport and entertainment for several national newspapers and radio stations in Ireland. Follow him on Twitter at @PearseCorcoran