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UFC 200: Why Jose Aldo beats Frankie Edgar

Jose Aldo Frankie Edgar

Once looked upon as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the UFC, Jose Aldo’s stock plummeted after a humiliating 13-second loss to Conor McGregor. The loss, combined with only fighting once in 20 months might lead some to believe that Aldo’s best days are behind him, but still at just 29 years old, I think Aldo will kick off the second act of his career successfully.

Here’s why I think Jose Also defeats Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200:

The first fight wasn’t as close as you think

Quite simply, the rounds Aldo won in the first fight were more convincing than the ones Edgar won. Aldo almost completely nullified Edgar’s wrestling, blocking nine of 11 takedown attempts. This kept the fight standing, where Aldo had the advantage. Aldo teed off on Edgar with thunderous kicks early, which may have ultimately been the difference in his five-round decision win.

Three and a half years later, I expect history to repeat itself.

He’s elite on his feet and Edgar isn’t

Blocking the majority of Edgar’s takedown attempts in the first fight was on par with what Aldo’s done his entire career. He’s blocked 91% of takedown attempts in his UFC/WEC career, and since the Edgar fight, he’s been taken down a grand total of two times in 15 rounds.

My point — It’s unlikely that Aldo ends up in a defensive position on the ground, which means the fight will stay on the feet. With the exception of the McGregor fight, Aldo has outhit his opponent in all but one fight in his UFC/WEC career. The one fight he didn’t was against Chad Mendes, and he KO’d him in the first round. Edgar’s no slouch on his feet — just look at his KO of Mendes in December, but I can’t get those kicks from the first fight out of my mind. If he lands them early, it will impact Edgar’s mobility, leaving the door open for Aldo to punch, kick, knee and elbow his way to the win.

This is Aldo’s GSP moment

How a champion responds after losing often sets the tone for the rest of their career. Some never regain their past form and see their skills whittle away with each passing fight — see Chuck Liddell — while others learn from their mistakes and get better — see Georges St. Pierre.

I think Aldo goes the way of GSP following his upset loss to Matt Serra, as there’s lots of parallels between the two. Both Aldo and GSP were in the discussion as the UFC’s top fighter at the time of their loss, both were embarrassed, and both have had their mental fortitude questioned. Unfortunately for Aldo, he may have lost the McGregor fight before even entering the Octagon, as the months of mental warfare took its toll on him and he completely lost his composure.

Some might write off Aldo after the McGregor loss, but we can’t forget he entered the fight on an 18-fight win streak. A certain amount of confidence comes with that. So too does the confidence of knowing he can beat Edgar.

Aldo’s been there, and done that, and in his prime fighting years, he’ll do it again at UFC 200.

Many see this fight going the other way, including Justin Hartling. See why he's picking Edgar to beat Aldo this time around.

UFC 200: Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar

Odds as of July 9th at Bovada

  • Jose Aldo +100
  • Frankie Edgar -130

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