UFC 153: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, Head to Toe Breakdown

Cody GuinnContributor IIIAugust 31, 2012

UFC 153: Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, Head to Toe Breakdown

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    As reported yesterday, UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo will no longer face young, up-and-comer Erik Koch, but will now step inside the Octagon against former Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar.

    MMA fans have been dreaming of this matchup since it was announced that the WEC had merged with the UFC. The realistic possibility of this "superfight" increased when it was announced just about a week ago that Edgar had decided to drop from lightweight to featherweight.

    Now, with Koch out with injury, Edgar will step up and face the best featherweight fighter in the world in his debut at 145.

    So how does this dream matchup look on paper? Let's breakdown the dream-come-true bout between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.

Striking

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    Edgar is known for being one of the toughest guys to ever step inside the Octagon, but he's struggled greatly with the unorthodox striking of current Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson. So how will he handle one of the greatest strikers in the game today in Jose Aldo?

    Aldo reminds many of Anderson Silva when he fights due to his precision striking. Every punch, elbow, kick and knee seem very thought out and calculated, leading to some vicious knockouts throughout Aldo's MMA career.

    Aldo hasn't ever faced an opponent like Frankie Edgar, but Edgar will still have a tough time dealing with the striking of Aldo.

    Advantage: Jose Aldo

Wrestling

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    When Frankie Edgar began his career in the UFC, he was known as a wrestler who could brawl. Now, he has more of a brawler-who-can-wrestle approach.

    Against a guy like Jose Aldo, brawling may not be such a good idea, so I look for Edgar to at least attempt to go back to his roots and try and use his wrestling to try and slow down the speedy Featherweight Champion.

    Advantage: Frankie Edgar

Grappling

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    Neither man is much for the submission game as the last time either won by submission was a rear naked choke finish for Edgar in 2009.

    Aldo, a BJJ black belt, may hold the advantage when it comes to jiu-jitsu, although it's doubtful we'll see Aldo attempt any submissions.

    Every other part of grappling, I give the advantage the Edgar as he will likely instigate the majority of the clinches and takedown attempts.

    Advantage: Frankie Edgar

Strength and Conditioning

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    Seeing that both men are championship fighters, Edgar and Aldo will both step inside the Octagon in October in the best shape of their career.

    I would likely call this category a toss-up, but I want to know how Edgar will look at 145. Edgar has been one of the smallest lightweights in the UFC since his debut in 2007, but that doesn't mean the cut will be an easy one.

    I'm sure many believe Edgar will easily make 145 and maybe even look better than he did at 155, but for his first fight at 145 coming against one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, I'll give a slight advantage to the champion.

    Advantage: Jose Aldo

Experience

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    Both men have spent a good amount of time as UFC champion, so both have faced some of the top guys in their respective divisions.

    But, comparing the lightweight and the featherweight division's top guys? There should be no question why Edgar holds the advantage.

    Don't get me wrong, Aldo has faced and beaten some of the best in the game including Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian and Chad Mendes and is currently riding a 14-fight winning streak.

    Edgar has lost two fights in a row in the lightweight division, but holds wins over Jim Miller, Tyson Griffin, Sean Sherk, Gray Maynard and two wins over legendary fighter B.J. Penn.

    Advantage: Frankie Edgar

Prediction

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    It's rare you see a fighter who has lost two straight fights get a title shot in a new division, but the shallowness that is the UFC featherweight division left the door open for Edgar to jump right into a title shot.

    This will likely be the new permanent home for Edgar, unless he is legit thinking about dropping 10 more pounds to bantamweight, but I don't see Edgar having immediate success.

    For one of the first times in his career, Edgar will not hold a significant speed advantage as he'll be facing one of the fastest fighters in the UFC.

    Aldo strikes from all angles and after watching the bouts between Edgar and Henderson, I just don't see how Edgar will be able to handle the speed and power of Aldo.

    Sometime down the road, Edgar may be able to work his way up the ladder and become UFC Featherweight Champion, but this October, I predict we will see Jose Aldo pick up one of the biggest wins in his career.

    Prediction: Jose Aldo by fourth round TKO.