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Aldo's X-Factor: Conditioning
One aspect of Aldo's game that has been criticized has been his conditioning. He has faded in the later rounds in more than one of his title defenses.
That will not cut it against Henderson. If Aldo avoids a late stoppage he will likely not avoid losing the championship rounds on the scorecards. That puts pressure on him to win all three early rounds against a larger opponent.
Henderson's pace and wrestling will factor in to how Aldo's cardio holds up. He should not rely on his takedown defense or his ability to dictate the pace. He needs to come in to this fight able to go a full 25 minutes under a high pace.
Henderson's X-Factor: Keeping Aldo Down
Henderson has the wrestling skill to take Aldo down, but it is keeping him there that is important.
The UFC lightweight champion must make Aldo work early. He needs to slow the blistering speed of Aldo, and keeping him down and making him work back to his feet will do just that.
Aldo is fantastic at working back to his feet, but he has done it against featherweights. Henderson is a huge lightweight with excellent submission defense. He has the confidence in himself to keep up a strong pace and drain his opponents. He'll use that in this fight.