UFC 153: Frank Edgar Takes Biggest Possible Risk in Fighting Jose Aldo

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 13: Frankie Edgar, UFC lightweight champion, poses during a press conference to announce commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State at Madison Square Garden on January 13, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Frank Edgar hasn't spent more than a couple of weeks at featherweight, and without even fighting at the weight, has a title shot against Jose Aldo.

The former lightweight champion lost his title and immediate rematch for the belt, which prompted him to make the move to 145 pounds. The timing of the move coincided with an injury to original title contender Erik Koch, who was forced to vacate his spot in the UFC 153 main event.

Make no mistake, this is the biggest risk of Edgar's career.

In taking his third straight title fight, Edgar risks not seeing a championship bout—should he lose—for a long time.

No matter how good Edgar is, if he loses to Aldo, there is no way he will get another title shot within the next year and probably more.

Think about it.

He lost his title in February to Ben Henderson. He lost his rematch in August, despite the fact he could and perhaps should have earned the nod.

Now, if he loses to Aldo in Brazil, he would be unsuccessful in three straight title main events.

Nobody could recover from three unsuccessful title bouts like that. Not even Urijah Faber, who seemingly earns title shots like felons earn jail time.

If Edgar wins, his risk will be paid off with future main event favors, the championship belt and the title of the newest multi-division champion in UFC history. He would join BJ Penn and Randy Couture in the history books.

The other risk in this fight is that Edgar is facing the most prolific striker in his career. Edgar ate some bombs against Gray Maynard and miraculously came back to keep his title.

In facing Aldo, he is facing a better striker with a killer instinct and the proven finishing ability to back it up. Maynard is a decision machine, but he should have finished Edgar right when he hurt him.

Come fight night, Edgar is playing Russian roulette. If he wins, his championship dream is alive and well. If he loses, his championship aspirations will be dead, even if it's just for the moment.

Frankie better bring his A-game.