Frankie Edgar's camp have hit back at Conor McGregor's claims he offered to mark his mixed martial arts return with a short-notice fight against 'The Answer' at UFC 222.
McGregor, who has not fought in the Octagon since November 2016, wrote on Instagram on Thursday [22 February] he offered to fight Edgar on March's card after featherweight champion Max Holloway was forced to pull out of his title defence after suffering a leg injury.
The Dubliner added however his proposal was shot down, claiming the promotion felt they didn't have enough time to sufficiently cash in on his grand return.
"I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need, he wrote. "I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game."
McGregor's suggestions he tried to be the saviour of UFC's Las Vegas show next month have not gone down well with Edgar's people, however. Edgar has previously tried to fight the Irishman at featherweight and was promised a title shot two years ago, only for McGregor to instead move to up lightweight, taking that belt from Eddie Alvarez in November 2016 to become the promotion's first ever double champion.
Edgar's long-time manager Ali Abdel-Aziz blasted McGregor for his comments, telling TMZ shortly after McGregor's Instagram message: "Let me tell you about Conor McGregor. He is like a prostitute, used to make high-dollar money, but she got old and nobody wanted her anymore. This f*****g guy. For three years, he did everything he can not to fight Frankie Edgar. He had so many opportunities. Now he wants to fight Frankie? That's funny."
Abdel-Aziz also accused McGregor of ducking Edgar at UFC 189, where he fought Chad Mendes after Jose Aldo pulled out through injury. He went on to add he personally reached out to the UFC after Holloway's injury withdrawal at the end of 2017, only to be told by the promotion chiefs they cannot even get McGregor to fight in his own weight class. "The guy is so f*****g afraid," Abdel-Aziz added.
Edgar, who will instead take on Brian Ortega at UFC 222, echoed his manager's comments on social media, writing on Twitter: "This is the truth," he wrote, referring to Abdel-Aziz's TMZ interview. "My focus is on Ortega and they all can get it after. Any time, anywhere, any weight class."
Fighting Edgar at featherweight would have been McGregor's first bout at that weight class since knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at December 2015 to win the championship. The 28-year-old was stripped of that belt the following year as he shifted his focus to fighting Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring last summer, and is now set to lose his lightweight title – another title he is yet to defend since winning it.