UFC 156: Jose Aldo v. Frankie Edgar
UFC 156 has more than a handful of fights worth talking about, two in particular that have my attention.
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo, hailing from Brazil, puts his belt on the line against former lightweight champion, Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar. Most fans and pundits have Aldo very high on the pound-for-pound list---3rd or 4th. His brutal stand up combined with a sick ground game have as a foundation a telepathic nature: the Brazilian just seems to know where your chin is going to be before he connects it to his knee or slides his forearm underneath it to choke you out.
Against Mike Thomas Brown, Cub Swanson and Chad Mendez, Aldo has looked as superior and dominating as Anderson Silva at middleweight. But against Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, Aldo looked human. You could see a crack through which victory could be won.
Edgar isn’t called The Answer without reason. On point is his draw with Gray Maynard, after which Edgar came out and finished the challenger. In both fights Edgar was floored and nearly finished early, but came back with answers to the dilemma.
Many fans and pundits still consider Edgar top of the 155 pound division, claim his losses to Benson Henderson weren’t losses, or that they were so close Edgar is still at least #2 at that weight. But Edgar has always been small for lightweight, and UFC president Dana White has been asking for Edgar to make the move down. In a rare occasion, v. Aldo, Edgar will be about the same size as his opponent.
Hominick showed Aldo can be taken down, and that good movement can somewhat stymie the champ. Hominick lost a unanimous decision to Aldo but finished the fight on top. No one is better at movement than Edgar. His fast pace, and the way he sticks and slips to the side, may prove difficult for Aldo to deal with even with his sixth sense.
This will be a close fight, and Edgar will get tested and may even get in trouble when he feels Aldo’s power. But Edgar will find the answer and frustrate Aldo on his way to a hard-earned, unanimous decision.
Power wrestler Jon Fitch will find himself opposite BJJ wizard Demien Maia. Fitch has very strong top control, evident when he quashed Erick Silva’s rocketing movement upward in the weight class. In addition to sick wrestling, Fitch is now almost impossible to submit. It’s as if he’s had a section of stove pipe surgically implanted in his neck.
Maia is on another level, however, especially since his move down from middleweight. He is a gi and no gi world champion in BJJ, and his application of his art since coming down to 170 is nothing if not spectacular. In MMA, Maia is to BJJ what Anderson Silva is to striking: far ahead of the pack.
The fight is a classic unstoppable force versus immovable object. However, in this fight Fitch will have met his match on the mat. Maia via submission no later than the end of round 2.
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