Frankie Edgar Vs. Eddie Alvarez: Who've You Got?
Frankie Edgar and Eddie Alvarez are two of the most dynamic fighters at 155lbs. Frankie Edgar, who is the current UFC lightweight champion, is coming off a hotly contested draw with Gray Maynard, setting the bar for the best fights of the year. Eddie Alvarez, is the current Bellator champion, and is coming off a spectacular beatdown performance against Roger Huerta. Overall, both guys are very well rounded, so if it did happen, this fight could go anywhere or possibly everywhere. Edgar and Alvarez can strike, wrestle and submit, making this a dream fight for MMA fans.
Both fighters have excellent striking, although you could argue that Edgar is more technical on his feet. Alvarez has shown to to be vulnerable when rushing in to finish an opponent, this was evident in the Kawajiri fight and the Hansen fight. He possesses big power, and does one thing that not a lot of guys do in MMA. When he gets an opponent hurt, he targets their body. This is a great thing to do because when a guy's dazed, of course he's going to cover his head, but by going to the body, Alvarez gives them something else to worry about, which makes them more susceptible to a knockout blow.
Edgar, on the other hand, uses superb footwork to dart in and put blinding combos together, before moving away from danger. His fight with Sean Sherk and his second fight with BJ Penn are both great examples of this. While Edgar may not have great power, his lateral movement and accurate strikes do a great job of picking his opponent apart and frustrating them.
Frankie's ground game is very solid, he has a purple belt in BJJ under Ricardo Almeida and he's an NCAA Division 1 calibre wrestler. In my opinion, Frankie Edgar is one of the top wrestlers in the lightweight division. The only time that we have ever seen him outwrestled was against Gray Maynard in their first fight, although in the sequel, it was Edgar that looked to be the better wrestler of the two. He was also able to take down BJ Penn multiple times in both of their fights, which is significant because BJ is notoriously hard to take down.
On the other hand, Alvarez is known more for his boxing abilities, but he did wrestle in high school. This does not reflect his wrestling skills in MMA, however; he has displayed very keen ground skills in his last few fights. It is also worth noting that Eddie Alvarez has shown some dangerous submission skills in his recent fights (albeit against lesser opposition), winning five straight fights by submission, before beating Roger Huerta.
Eddie Alvarez is one of the most powerful fighters at 155 lbs. If not that, then he is definitely the most powerful striker, maybe with the exception of BJ Penn, who currently fights at welterweight. Frankie Edgar is not known for being a powerful athlete, but his technique more than makes up for his lack in power. Eddie Alvarez wins this section, hands down.
Just like Alvarez has a blatant power advantage, I think that Frankie Edgar is the fastest lightweight in the world today. His speed is something that he can use to frustrate his opponents to the point where they just give up. If you watch the second BJ Penn fight, BJ had no answer for Frankie's speed and constant pressure.
Both Fighters have displayed great chins and recuperative abilities in their fights. Alvarez has been TKO'd before, by Nick Thompson, but he was simply dwarfed and the fight was at 170lbs. In my opinion, Alvarez gets caught quite a lot when he rushes in, although Frankie was absolutely beaten down in the first round of the second Maynard fight. However, the fact that he recovered from that beating and performed so well in the later rounds astonished me and a lot of other guys in the MMA community.
I think that the first few rounds of this fight will be very competitive, with both fighters maybe scoring knockdowns and take-downs. However, as the fight wears on, Frankie Edgar will gradually take control of the fight, using his superior technique and extraordinary pace to win a clear-cut, unanimous decision.
Outcome: Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)