Frankie Edgar says title shot was 'meant to be,' happy to fight Alexander Volkanovski before year's end

Frankie Edgar knew he might get the next crack at Max Holloway even before this past weekend’s UFC 237 event, but he wouldn’t let himself get too worked up until the promotion made it official.

“Now that it’s all done, I’m excited,” Edgar told MMA Junkie Radio.

Edgar (23-6-1 MMA, 17-6-1 UFC) and reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway (20-4 MMA, 16-4 UFC) meet in the main event of UFC 240, which takes place July 27 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Edgar has been campaigning for the title shot since an April 2018 win over Cub Swanson. That result came just one month after “The Answer” did the UFC a solid, remaining on the card at UFC 222 when he was originally expected to face Holloway for the belt, only for the champ to withdraw. Edgar would go on to lose at the event to Brian Ortega, ceding his title shot in the process.

Edgar believes that favor, combined with a legendary body of work built up over 12 years in the octagon, made him the right selection at this time.

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“I think all of it combined – my body of work, what I’ve done in the past, what I’ve done for the UFC, opportunities that I could’ve waited for, I didn’t – I stepped in and fought,” Edgar said. “I think a combination of all that stuff led me to get my title shot.

“I’ve been doing the right things in this sport since Day One and never shied away from a challenge or never shied away from an opponent, so I feel like this was definitely meant to be.”

Of course, Alexander Volkanovski (20-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) also felt after his UFC 237 win over former champion Jose Aldo that his title shot was meant to be, as well. The Australian has a strong case, with a perfect 7-0 mark in the UFC and an incredible 17-fight winning streak, overall.

But Edgar believes Volkanovski shouldn’t fret. With injuries forcing Edgar to the sidelines for the past year, he’s looking to stay busy for the remainder of 2019. If he’s victorious at UFC, Edgar said he wouldn’t mind traveling to hostile territory for a rumored Australia event in October to face Volkanovski, or to welcome “The Great” to New York’s famed Madison Square Garden if the promotion visits the Empire State again in November, as it has for each of the past three years.

“I want to fight more than once this year,” Edgar said. “My plan is to win in July and get one more in. If it works out with that fight (in Australia) or possibly the Garden – I know they’re usually at the Garden in November – we’ll see what happens.

“I’ve been booed and been cheered. Either way, I’m still giving it my all.”

First, of course, Edgar has a stern challenge in Holloway. While “Blessed” came up short in an April bid for an interim lightweight belt against Dustin Poirier, Edgar said he still sees an incredibly formidable foe and believes that the change in weight class certainly didn’t help Holloway in the contest.

“I think the weight did matter,” Edgar said. “Max is able to push guys back easily at ’45. His pressure, his pace, is a little bit better at ’45. Dustin’s a good fighter, too, so nothing against Dustin.

“Holloway and Dustin, they’re both great fighters. They both put on a great performance, but 10 pounds can make a difference.”

Of course, Edgar is a great fighter, as well. A certain UFC Hall of Famer when he calls it a career, the 37-year-old Edgar is looking to wear gold again for the first time since 2011. There have been hurdles on his way back to this point, but Edgar isn’t thinking about any of that right now.

UFC 240 calls, and right now, nothing else matters.

“I’m good,” Edgar said. “I got my shot. I’m not one to kind of go back and worry about past things that happened. It doesn’t matter now. We got what we wanted, and we’re going to make the best of it.”

For more on UFC 240, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMA Junkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio. You can also check out www.siriusxm.com/siriusxmfightnation.

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