LOS ANGELES -- Frankie Edgar already announced he'll be dropping down to bantamweight for his next fight. However, there might be something that easily trumps those plans.
In an interview Tuesday with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Edgar said he has heard through "multiple channels" that Conor McGregor wants to fight him upon his return to the UFC. Edgar, the former UFC lightweight champion, would be willing to move up to lightweight in order to make that happen. Edgar has competed at featherweight since 2013.
"No date, no venue," Edgar said at a media day hosted by his management company Dominance MMA at Tyson Ranch, Mike Tyson's cannabis resort. "I just hear I'm the guy he wants to come back to."
Edgar was one of the names mentioned by McGregor as a possible opponent in an August interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani. McGregor said facing Edgar could be a way for him to prepare for a rematch for the UFC lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who beat McGregor at UFC 229 in October 2018.
"You know who else is at the top of the list? Frankie Edgar," McGregor said. "Frankie Edgar is also up there at the top of the list, because of the similarities to Khabib [Nurmagomedov]. Runs on the back foot, shoots on the single leg. I want these types of similar bouts. And also Frankie has been very respectful. Frankie has always been respectful. [He said], 'I want to tell my grandkids that I fought Conor McGregor one day.' And for me to hear that -- ask [UFC president] Dana [White]. For me, when I heard that -- this was going back many months he said that -- I messaged Dana straight away and said that's the fight to make."
Edgar said Tuesday he wants to make the fight with McGregor, and it'll likely be the popular Irishman who decides his own next move.
"I told him I want to fight him," Edgar said. "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, I think it's up to him. I think if he forces it, it could happen. The ball is in his court.
"He can make the call. Conor, if you want to do this, let's do it, baby."
Edgar said he's not entirely sure why McGregor wants to fight him, but he believes it could be because McGregor thinks he can beat him. He said McGregor probably knows he won't go hard at him in the fight build up, bringing up McGregor's outside-the-cage issues. McGregor is due in Irish court Friday on an assault charge for punching a man in a Dublin pub in April and was arrested in March for smashing another man's cellphone outside a Miami club.
"It's a great fight," Edgar said. "He's coming off a couple losses, really. He needs a win. Listen, I felt like all the s--- he's [dealing with], throwing the phone, hitting [the] dude. He's gotten a lot of bad press. Come in and fight me, I'm not gonna talk no junk. Get a clean bill of health after me. Maybe it'll bring up his morale in a sense. Maybe that's what he's thinking, I don't know. No matter what it's gonna be a great fight. He's f---in' gonna sell it. I'm not gonna let him talk too much s---. I've gotta say something back. We'll get it going."
Edgar (23-7-1) is coming off a loss to Max Holloway in a featherweight title fight at UFC 240 in July. The 37-year-old New Jersey native won three of four going into that bout and is currently ranked No. 8 by ESPN among featherweights. McGregor (21-4) has not won a fight since he beat Eddie Alvarez to win his second UFC title in November 2016. After that, the 31-year-old star went on to lose to Floyd Mayweather in a big-money boxing match and then also lost to Nurmagomedov.
Though there has been speculation that McGregor, who has made hundreds of millions of dollars, may never fight again, Edgar is confident he'll come back. And if McGregor does, Edgar would like to be on the other side of the Octagon from him.
"He knows I want it," Edgar said. "We'll see. That's why I said it's up to him. If Conor wants to put his foot down, it'll happen."