Jose Aldo has dominated the featherweight ranks since 2009. Former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will make his much anticipated featherweight debut. The long-awaited superfight between the UFC featherweight champion and Edgar will finally come to fruition on October 13 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The HSBC Arena will once against play host to the UFC.
This fight has been talked about for some time. Edgar had always been a small lightweight even in spite of carrying the division's top prize for an extended period of time, but after falling to Benson Henderson for the second straight fight he finally decided to drop to featherweight. And an unfortunate injury to Erik Koch opened the door for Edgar to receive the immediate title shot.
Edgar's style poses a new and intriguing matchup for the UFC champion. How can Aldo get past his toughest opponent to date?
One of Edgar's biggest assets is his movement. His impeccable movement has led him to great heights and will be tough to game-plan for.
Aldo will have to use his brutal leg kick ability to slow down and make Edgar a sitting duck. The champion has showcased this ability in the past, most notably against Urijah Faber. In that fight, Aldo hammered Faber with leg kicks early and prevented him from using his quickness. On one wheel, Faber was useless for the next four rounds.
That is what Aldo must do to Edgar in Rio.
The champion is the more dynamic and powerful striker between the two athletes. By taking away one of the legs of Edgar he will further establish his dominance on the feet and be able to pick him apart until he is able to finish the fight.
It will also affect Edgar's wrestling game.
Aldo has excellent takedown defense, but has not been perfect in the area. Edgar is able to mix up his game well and take down most of the fighters he faces. If he is able to do that against Aldo, he will be able to dictate when and where the fight takes place, and have much greater odds of picking up the title.
Aldo has shown his leg kicking power in his fights. In the case of the aforementioned Faber fight, after only a couple of clean legkicks Faber was done. The champion must be able to do the same to Edgar.
Edgar is far too talented to be given all five rounds to implement his game. He mixes his strikes and wrestling far too well, with his movement and footwork the key. For Aldo, the key is effective leg kicks. It will take away the base of Edgar and force him to stand in front of the ferocious champion.
The much anticipated superfight will be a battle of game plans. Whichever fighter is able to implement their game more will exit the HSBC Arena as the UFC featherweight champion. Expect that man to be Jose Aldo. He will incapacitate Edgar and finish him shortly afterwards.