Nobody has been a bigger opponent of McGregor hanging on to the UFC featherweight title without defending it than Frankie Edgar. The American had been the number one challenger to Aldo before McGregor leapfrogged him, and is still waiting for another title shot. Edgar lost to Aldo on his featherweight debut - but his impressive recovery and charge up the rankings in the division meant he was still ranked ahead of the Dubliner when McGregor got the title fight at UFC 189, and UFC 194.
Edgar doesn't fail to take as many shots as he can to ridicule McGregor, and even has his team getting in on the act. Edgar's boxing coach took great joy at knocking the featherweight champion down a peg or two on MMA Junkie radio. Mark Henry compared McGregor to his young daughter, saying that he's like a scared child who won't give up his belt:
Everybody keeps stoking up Conor so much, and this guy– the thing with my daughter growing up, she was a great kid, but she wanted the baba and the binkie and the blankie she was scared. She just wouldn’t get rid of it and held on tight to that. And I think Conor needs to let go of that baba and the binkie and just let go of the 145-pound title.
All the rules are changing, and I just want the belt. This guy just won’t let that baba go, man. You’ll be OK, pal. You want to go and fight 155? Go fight 155 and come back and fight 155, but (McGregor) wants to fight 170, he wants to retire, and he doesn’t want to retire. I don’t know if I’m talking to my wife or talking to Conor sometimes.
Henry wasn't done there though, laying into the Dubliner for the easy route he was afforded in getting to the title. McGregor gets criticism because he never faced any 'wresters' in his rise up the featherweight rankings:
I don’t know if Conor’s taken that route. In the military, I think it would be a good job for Conor - landmines. Somehow he missed Elkins, somehow he missed Guida, somehow he missed Bermudez, somehow he missed Lamas, somehow he missed Mendes with a full camp. Somehow he missed Frankie.
Fraud. That’s been his path.
Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE