UFC 153, scheduled for October 13th in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, has a new main event! Former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar will be dropping down to the Featherweight division to challenge titleholder Jose Aldo for the 145 lb belt. Despite dropping his last two matches, Edgar earns the chance because Eric Koch, the original assailant to Aldo’s title, is out with an injury.
Unfortunately for Frankie Edgar, he does deserve to get this match, as he is reasonably the top contender to Jose Aldo, who is a dominant champion in a weight division where his next big challenge was not clear. There was the feeling that the original opponent Erik Koch wasn’t ready for a title shot, with only 2 UFC wins, though he was a fixture under the WEC promotional flag. Fact is he is not a big name, and Edgar is.
I say unfortunately because I think the sportsbooks are likely to open Aldo as a slight favorite in this fight, and that sounds right – Aldo should be favored.
Aldo was going to be a big favorite against Koch, and it would not surprise me to see this move to a pick ‘em fight by the time both men hit the octagon.
Edgar is an unorthodox boxer, and he has made his standup work for him in outstanding fashion so far in his career, keeping people off balance with his footwork. He has had a tendency to take damage however, and Aldo is the wrong guy to have that tendency with. This improved in his last outing, the second Henderson fight, but Aldo will have a much more diversified stand up game to show Edgar.
Both are veterans of five round fights, though Edgar has displayed better activity rates in the later rounds, perhaps indicating better cardio.
Edgar will be faced with fighting Aldo in his hometown. He has fought further away in Japan, so the travel wont be too much of an issue, but the Brazilian crowd is a different beast than the Japanese fans.
He has also fought basically the same style matchup for the past few bouts, and he may need to diversify against Aldo.
Bottom line is that Frankie Edgar is in a tough, tough fight again. He is adding a mountain of marquee value to the UFC’s Rio de Janeiro offering, and he is taking on a lot of risk to do it. As good as he is, it is very possible he will have dropped his 3rd UFC fight in a row when this match is over.