UFC 162 was highlighted by the changing of the guard, as Chris Weidman did the unthinkable by knocking out Anderson Silva and taking his middleweight title. While the upset deserves the headlines it's received, there was another deviation from the norm worth noting.
With his first win at featherweight, Frankie Edgar proved he's a threat to the title with a dominant victory over Charles Oliveira.
Edgar (16-4-1, 4 KO) defeated Oliveira (16-4-1) by unanimous decision in what was voted as the Fight of the Night. While the fight may have gone a full three rounds, Edgar was able to control the fight, landing powerful punches and protecting himself.
The sign of a champion.
There's no question that Edgar is one of the UFC's most popular fighters, but he had lost three consecutive fights before defeating Oliveira. Each of those bouts had been for titles, which thus displayed the sense of urgency for Edgar to win big.
With a bounce-back victory, it's clear that Edgar is still a championship-caliber performer.
Adjusting to a New Weight
From April 10, 2010 to February 26, 2010, Frankie Edgar was the UFC lightweight champion. He defeated the likes of B.J. Penn and Gray Maynard, thus establishing a reputation as one of the best fighters in the world.
After Benson Henderson took his title and then defeated Edgar by split decision in their rematch, however, Edgar moved down to featherweight.
Edgar's high-profile name led to a clash with UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. Inexperienced against fighters at this weight, Edgar still managed to hold his ground, eventually losing to Aldo by unanimous decision in what was named the Fight of the Night.
Now that he's fully adjusted, Edgar made it clear just how dominant he can be.
Not only was Edgar more agile, but he used his hands perfectly to deflect shots and land punches of his own. Active with his body, Edgar displayed the pop that he'd been missing in his previous three fights.
All in all, he had the look of a champion.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Edgar's victory at UFC 162 was his ability to pair aggressive offense with responsible defense. The proof is in the numbers in this instance, as Edgar displayed the all-around brilliance necessary to be a champion.
There wasn't an area to look without being impressed.
Edgar landed 81 strikes during his three-round victory over Oliveira, landing 55 percent of his significant strikes. Defensively, Edgar allowed just 30 percent of the strikes thrown his way to come through and land.
Plain and simple, Edgar landed at will, and Oliveira simply couldn't break the former lightweight star's defensive wall.
Edgar will likely need to win at least one more fight until he truly deserves a second shot at Aldo and the featherweight title. With that being said, he entered the Octagon with something to prove and made a statement by thoroughly controlling a fight against a high-quality opponent.
With this win, Edgar thrust himself back into the title picture and made a statement that he's here to stay in the featherweight division.
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