Last weekend, the landscape changed in the UFC featherweight division, as Frankie Edgar scored a major win over Cub Swanson in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin. Edgar submitted Swanson in the dying seconds of the fifth round with a neck crank to cap off a performance that saw Edgar get the better of Swanson both on the feet and on the ground.

Of course, the victory means a lot for Edgar, whose stock definitely increases with the win, but Edgar’s dominant showing did more than just put himself closer and closer to a potential rematch with reigning UFC featherweight champion José Aldo. In fact, by breaking the three-year long winning streak that many thought locked in a rematch with Aldo for Swanson, Edgar actually helped to shift a lot more focus to the UFC featherweight ranks.

Ricardo Lamas, one of four active UFC featherweights to own a loss to Aldo, recently toppled Dennis Bermudez, while top featherweight Chad Mendes now owns two losses to Aldo after suffering a close unanimous decision defeat to the champ in UFC 179’s headliner. Of course, we can’t forget about the brash Conor McGregor, who makes headlines on a weekly basis in one context or another, or the tough task he faces in the form of Dennis Siver at UFC Fight Night 59. Additionally, guys like Max Holloway and Cole Miller continue to make noise under many MMA fans’ radars, as do a number of others in the division.

Simply put, Edgar’s win over Swanson means that it’s anyone’s game in the featherweight division. Even McGregor and Lamas can find themselves on top of the ladder one minute and knocked down a few rungs the next. With no clear idea of who may challenge Aldo next, or at least, no clear idea until the dust settles with McGregor vs. Siver, any featherweight can prove themselves worthy of being considered the man to beat the man, and there is no better time for them to start really stepping up to the plate than right now.

About The Author

Dale De Souza
Staff Writer

Dale De Souza is a 22-year-old kid straight out of Texas, who grew up around Professional Wrestling but embraced the beauty of Mixed Martial Arts and Combat Sports at a young age. Dale is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report MMA, a writer at The MMA Corner.