- Frankie Edgar has challenged Conor McGregor to meet him in the Octagon.
- The news comes months after McGregor messaged the UFC president Dana White saying he wanted the same fight.
- McGregor was recently frozen out of the big fights in UFC, with the lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and the Irishman’s old rival Nate Diaz pursuing alternative fighters.
- But now McGregor has options.
- He can take Edgar up on his offer to fight in UFC, or he can explore an all-Ireland boxing rules bout against his Dublin rival Luke Keeler.
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Frankie Edgar has challenged Conor McGregor to a fight just months after the Irish striker messaged the UFC boss Dana White saying he wanted the same bout.
Edgar, an American wrestler, was a UFC lightweight champion eight years ago. He then dropped down a weight class to campaign at featherweight, but after his UFC 240 loss to current titleholder Max Holloway, he appeared set to drop down to bantamweight.
However, after hearing through industry sources that McGregor is eager to meet him in the Octagon, Edgar now says he’d prioritize a money fight against the Irishman over his options at bantamweight.
“I just hear I’m the guy he wants to come back to,” he told ESPN on Tuesday. “I told him I want to fight him, I told the UFC I want to fight him.
“But honestly, I don’t think the UFC wants that fight. I don’t know whether they don’t want it because they don’t want him to lose to me or they don’t think they can build it. I don’t know what it is. But ultimately … if he forces it, it could happen.
“He can make the call. Conor, if you want to do this, let’s do it, baby.”
Conor McGregor has options
Life has moved fast for McGregor, 31.
Just weeks after being frozen out of the biggest UFC fights by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz, the Irishman does appear to have options — in MMA and in boxing.
In a recent interview with ESPN, his first for 10 months, McGregor said he was willing to fight anybody in his comeback, but singled out Edgar because he had always been respectful. He also said it would be a good rehearsal fight for a rematch against Khabib Nurmagomedov due to the mat-based styles of both opponents.
“Frankie Edgar is up there at the top of the list, because of the similarities to Khabib,” McGregor said. “Runs on the back foot, shoots on the single leg. I want these types of similar bouts. And also Frankie has been very respectful.
“[He said], ‘I want to tell my grandkids that I fought Conor McGregor one day.’ And for me to hear that – ask Dana. For me, when I heard that … I messaged Dana straight away and said that’s the fight to make.”
McGregor even has options in boxing should he choose to return to the ring and try to improve his 0-1 record. He lost his sole bout, a 10th round loss to Floyd Mayweather, in 2017.
An Irish middleweight boxer called Luke Keeler is hoping to entice McGregor into a Dublin boxing ring so they can settle their war of words.
Keeler told Business Insider that he received a phone call from a “ranting and raving” McGregor after he tweeted that it was “sad to see McGregor stoop so low” when he appeared to hit an older man in a Dublin pub.
A fight between McGregor and Keeler was apparently discussed on the phone.
Keeler is fighting on November 26 and is hopeful he will challenge Demetrius Andrade for the WBO middleweight championship in March.
Should he win, he wants to defend the world title against McGregor.