Conor McGregor fight would be fitting send-off for Frankie Edgar
"The game changes so quick. Everyone just comes and goes. It's a forgetful business. It's a cruel, cruel business."
Frankie Edgar is an older gentleman that would be more than willing to dish it back up to Conor McGregor.
Most of the UFC roster may be unimpressed with McGregor's latest interview, in which he apologised for a couple of recent run-ins with the members of the public, but that statement to Ariel Helwani would have sank in.
Very few fighters get rich from the fight game and some that do are lacking in the guidance and support to put their money to good use. Ill-advised comebacks and fighters going on way past their 40th business are common-place in the fight game.
One man that is nearing that landmark birthday is Frankie Edgar. The New Jersey native turns 38 in October and could be done with the featherweight division after his third unsuccessful tilt at the 145lbs crown. Back in 2015, he declared:
"As long as I'm happy and healthy, I'm going to keep fighting. I'm going to ride it 'til the wheels fall off!"
UFC president Dana White is a massive fan of Edgar's but told reporters, after his title challenge faltered against Max Holloway, that he should start looking at other options. The former UFC lightweight champion is said to be willing to drop down to bantamweight (135lbs) in a final effort to keep his pro career going.
Edgar was working as a plumber when he made his professional MMA debut and did so until he got a deal with Reality Fighting. He quickly moved to 6-0 and was awarded a UFC contract, winning Fight of the Night on his debut - a win over Tyson Griffin - in February 2007.
Edgar claimed the lightweight belt in 2010, beating BJ Penn, and defended it three times before Benson Henson took it from him and also claimed the rematch. He dropped to featherweight in 2013 and lost against the then-champion José Aldo.
Edgar may get two or three more fights in the bantamweight division but it depends on how his body takes to a big weight cut and if he has much gas left in the tank. There may be a more lucrative one-fight deal that could see him go out with a feathered nest.
During his interview with Helwani, McGregor spoke highly of Edgar when discussing possible opponents for his latest comeback. 'The Notorious' wants a rematch against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov but he feels Edgar could be a nice tune-up fight.
"Who else is top of the list? Frankie Edgar is also up there on the list because he has similarities to Khabib. He runs on the back foot and shoots on the single leg. I want these sort of similar bouts.
"And also, Frankie has been very respectful. He's always respectful. He said, 'I want to tell my his grandkids I fought Conor McGregor', one day.
"For me to hear that, ask Dana [White] - now this is going back many months now - I messaged Dana straight away and said, 'That's the fight to make'. Even though he lost to Max [Holloway] in a very close bout, I don't care. Wins and losses don't matter in this game. It's the stories we are all on and the journeys we are all on."
McGregor and Edgar share similarities in that they bought worked as plumbers before and during the early stages of their MMA careers. They both entered the UFC on a hot streak and hit the ground sprinting before coming upon hard times in recent years.
A bout with McGregor would guarantee at least a million pay-per-view buys and that is without a single utterance, promo video or hype campaign. As ways to bow out, it could be one Edgar and his family long feel the benefits of.
McGregor is back grappling again after recovering from a hand injury sustained in June. He hopes to fight again before the year is out and could yet surpass all markers to return in time for UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden, New York.
If that comes too soon, there's always a return to the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, on December 14, for UFC 245.