After his riveting performance against top contender Chad Mendes this past weekend at Brazil’s UFC 142, UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo has cemented his hold on the 145 lb weight class and in my book, has a stranglehold on #2 overall on the best in MMA pound for pound lists that are out there. Anderson Silva remains number one, but I tell you I thought about putting Aldo there. I am going to christen him the heir apparent for that spot – when Silva fades, it will likely be Aldo who wears the crown of best fighter in the world.
Earlier this year UFC President Dana White made a now famous statement naming Frankie Edgar, the UFC’s 155 lb champion the #2 best pound for pound fighter in the world. I wonder what Dana would say now?
Really, this is a great opportunity to make a superfight here. Aldo has cleaned out the division, and provided Edgar can get by Ben Henderson, Edgar will be needing a challenge as well. If Henderson wins, he will need some time to defend the belt and establish himself, but a Henderson-Aldo superfight could also be intriguing.
It is a great fight. Edgar has been dominant with his unorthodox, movement based boxing game. But he hasn’t faced a striker as dynamic as Aldo, who will attack from all angles with kicks and punches. Perhaps BJ Penn is the most talented striker Edgar has faced, but he did not show Edgar the arsenal that Aldo has shown.
It will be interesting to see if Edgar has changed enhanced his arsenal for this upcoming match with Henderson.
If Edgar gets a match with Aldo, he will need to fight a different fight than the one’s he has been fighting. I don’t think he can stay safe on his feet five rounds against Aldo. Edgar is a solid wrestler, though his style has not relied heavily on his wrestling in his recent bouts. Edgar has an advantage over Mendes in that his striking is much better, so perhaps he can do a better job setting up takedowns. He is going to have to get Aldo down and control him several times as the rounds go by.
Edgar has long been called a bit undersized for the lightweight class, and there has been sporadic talk about him dropping a weight class. Aldo, on the other hand, has talked about going up a weight class, and he is a huge featherweight, long and lean with a lot of reach with kicks and punches. If Aldo goes into the match with physical advantages in reach, it is a bad sign for Edgar.
I think Aldo takes a fight with Edgar. If it happens, what will Edgar do? He can’t run to 145 lbs because Aldo will be right there waiting for him. And that is the main reason the UFC will likely not do the fight – it would show quite clearly that despite Dana’s big words, the 155 lb division hasn’t been as strong as they thought under Edgar, and it would also show that Edgar is not worthy of the pound for pound lists he has appeared on.