One of several rematches on the card at UFC 200 is the re run of the featherweight title fight that took place in February of 2013 between the then UFC Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar who had previously been campaigning at Lightweight and had been a former champion of that division acquiring the strap from mma legend Bj Penn. The fight itself was very back n forth and for me it was Jose Aldo’s toughest test as champion up to that point in his career, Aldo came out on top of a close decision, four out of the five rounds seemed pretty clear to score in my opinion i scored rounds one & two for Aldo and rounds four & five for Edgar. The toughest round to split the two competitors was round three (for the record i did give that one to Aldo) nevertheless the only opinions that counted deemed Aldo to have won that round thus declaring him the winner. Official Scores of that fight were 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47 within those scores only one judge gave Edgar both rounds four and five so even if they had seen round three go to Edgar it wouldn’t have mattered.
Frankie Edgar is currently on a five fight win streak & during that streak hes been taking out the divisions top contenders in impressive fashion. Fresh off his knockout of Chad Mendes Edgar now finally has the title shot hes been campaigning to receive for so long, albeit for the interim title and not the UFC Featherweight Championship currently held by Conor Mcgregor. Edgar has been made to wait a long time for his rematch and now he’s got a whole lot to gain, first he gets the chance to avenge his loss and providing he does he will also earn the interim tile which will then put him in line for a big money making fight with Conor McGregor.
Jose Aldo knows the name Conor McGregor all too well, not tasting defeat for ten years and winning 18 straight fights Jose Aldo finally fell to the charismatic Irishman. After being hounded by McGregor all through the press tour and fight build up Aldo uncharacteristically came flying out the gate no doubt eager to inflict damage on the man he felt had shown him no respect and as a consequence Aldo was caught and finished within 13 seconds. More than regaining the belt its clear Aldo wants to get revenge on his arch rival, he will need to beat Frankie Edgar to make that possible.
There is the possibility McGregor never comes back down to featherweight and relinquishes the title but both fighters will and must assume he will, Only one of these guys will get the opportunity should it arise and it will either be a tale of redemption for Aldo or the tale of Entitlement for Edgar. Make no mistake this is a Big fight with high stakes and this gives the contest an extra edge compared to the previous one.
Making a case for Edgar
Coming up short last time it is Edgar who needs to come up with some new tricks or at least sharpen the tricks he brought to the table in the previous fight. Edgar likes to mix things up with his striking and grappling making it hard for opponents to control the rhythm of the fight, he never stays in the same place utilizing plenty of foot movement he’s got great cardio and lots of energy. Analyzing the stats of the first fight what stands out to me is that Edgar only completed two of 11 attempts at a takedown and absorbed 40 jabs to the head. I recall Jose using the jab very effectively to keep Frankie at range especially in the first two rounds, This time around Edgar needs to deal with that jab by either countering it or cause Aldo to miss with head movement when attacking. Another stat that stands out is Jose only threw nine leg kicks, prior to the fight many experts thought that the leg kick would be the key to victory for Aldo but surprisingly he rarely threw it i assume because Edgar has a habit of catching kicks Jose may have been worried about being taken to the floor. To summarize i think Frankie should continue to attempt takedowns as he did last time even if they’re unsuccessful just to keep Aldo thinking, if he can get the fight to the floor and do some damage great if not what he must to do different on the feet is go first. During the stand up exchanges last time around Edgar mixed his strikes up effectively with kicks and punches high and low i just think he waited too long especially in the early rounds. In this fight if Frankie can get there first and be the aggressor it will force Aldo to counter & the dynamic of the fight changes, he needs to pressure with feints and plenty of intelligent output, reason being The advantage that Edgar has is he most certainly will be the fresher man going into round four so its the first three rounds Edgar needs to get a firm grasp on and really make Aldo work so his opponent has limited cardio later in the fight.
Making a case for Aldo
What does Aldo need to do seeing as he already has a win against his opponent?, first off its imperative that Aldo does just as good a job stuffing the take downs in the rematch as he did previously. Although Jose has a BJJ black belt he has only two career wins by submission and the last one was over 10 years ago, add on top of that Edgar has never been submitted & he posses a good top control game so the submission victory outcome looks unlikely its not a spot Aldo will want to be in. Aldo has shown in the past that the championship rounds have been an issue for him so if Frankie manages to get him down even if he doesn’t do much damage he will be forcing Aldo to use up energy which he will desperately need going into the last few rounds if the fight is close. Striking blueprint, at least to begin with the jab needs to be active again it was so accurate the first time around it would be crazy not to utilize such a low risk strike, if Edgar fails to deal with it again Aldo can steal a few early rounds whilst Frankie is trying to adjust and find a way around it. The other thing i expect is Edgar to be more active this should allow Aldo chances to land hard shots giving him possibilities to hurt and finish Edgar, though Aldo has the power to hurt anyone in this division lately he has been frugal with his striking not looking like the killer that first sprang up on the scene, now may be a good time to turn back the clock knowing that Edgar is a strong five round fighter it might be sensible to look for opportunities to finish Edgar should the opening present itself.
A subject i haven’t touched on is how will Aldo respond to his first loss in 10 years, particularly considering the fashion the loss came in. Will we see an apprehensive version of Jose Aldo, so many times fighters that have been on lengthy win streaks and finally lose then go on to lose multiple times almost as if the confidence never returns and the fighter isn’t that same guy that was feared for so long. I like Edgar’s chances he’s a smart fighter that will know exactly what he needs to do differently this time, i foresee a closer fight possibly a controversial decision. Even after Taking all that into account i am of the opinion we will see a highly motivated Aldo that will do just enough to win, i see him stuffing enough takedowns to allow plenty of time to get work done on the feet. Edgar will give Aldo plenty of problems i just see Aldo landing harder cleaner shots and dealing with the problems sent his way so I’m going to side with,
Jose Aldo wins by majority or split decision.