There are few UFC events this year that will gain more attention than Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo.
After losing the lightweight championship, Edgar is looking to earn a title in the featherweight division.
On the other hand, Aldo has not lost a fight since 2005 and is not planning on surrendering his belt any time soon.
This should be an intense match that could go either way, but both fighters will have to follow these keys to victory.
When two fighters have different styles, it is important for each to dictate the match.
Aldo wants to turn this into a fight on the feet where he can utilize his great striking ability. He certainly does not want to turn this into a wrestling match on the mat.
While Edgar is very good with takedowns, the champ is even better at preventing them. According to Andrew Davis of ESPN, opponents are three of 55 in takedown attempts on Aldo in 11 career fights in UFC/WEC.
Edgar will take a bunch of shots at the legs during the match, but Aldo cannot let him be successful.
Be Aggressive with Punches
Edgar has the experience, and he knows how to impress the judges. He will certainly have the advantage if it goes to a decision.
Fortunately, Aldo has the ability to prevent things from getting to that point.
Since joining the WEC and eventually the UFC, Aldo has finished eight of 11 matches early with knockouts—most of which were due to his strong punches.
Obviously, everyone wants a knockout, but the Brazilian should be even more aggressive than usual as he goes for the big hits. This might leave him more exposed, but this is the type of ending that he should be looking for in this battle.
Use Size Advantage
Despite Aldo's impressive size for the featherweight division, he is much smaller than an average lightweight.
Edgar has defeated bigger competitors in the past, but now that he has dropped a weight class he needs to use it to his advantage.
With more strength, he needs to grapple more often and let Aldo feel his weight. He does not want to make it into a boxing match.
On the mat, Edgar should have the edge. He must be able to take down his opponent and utilize his biggest advantage in this match.
Make It a Long Match
Aldo has not competed in over a year. His last fight was in January of 2012 in his title defense against Chad Mendes.
Since then, injuries have pushed back a variety of matches, and he is likely to be rusty and will lack conditioning.
While he has been training rigorously, there is nothing quite like being in the Octagon for an intense competition.
Edgar needs to use this to his advantage and keep the battle active. If this goes five rounds, Aldo could end up being very tired by the end.
At this point, the New Jersey native will be able to pounce and finish the match strong.