This weekend we’re in store for what could potentially be viewed as the UFC’s very first super-fight ever. Although this fight hasn’t exactly been given that label without a bit of confusion, most commonly leaving the fans asking, what exactly constitutes a super-fight?
Is it a bout between any two top ranked p4p fighters? Is it a bout between any two current champions? I believe the answer is subjective depending on how you feel about each fighter individually. With many fans believing that Frankie Edgar had won at least one of the two decisions against Benson Henderson, and more specifically the second more recent one, it’s no surprise that they are soo quick to label this a super-fight.
After all Frankie Edgar is still ranked in the top 10 p4p as he should be, while many also still consider him the true Lightweight champion or at the very least equal in skill and stature to that of current champion Benson Henderson.
With the semantics and classification of this match out of the way, we can all agree at the very least that this is one of the most exciting match ups in UFC history. With this Saturday approaching quicker by the minute, let’s look a little deeper into the skill sets of both fighters and break this matchup down section by section.
Striking: 70-30 Aldo
Frankie Edgar is no slouch on the feet, I mean we’re talking about a guy that can mix it up and strike with the best of them, a guy who KO’d Lightweight powerhouse Gray Maynard in their rematch not long ago, and a guy who even out-struck BJ Penn twice in a row, along with pretty much every other opponent he’s ever faced.
With that said, it’s hard to ignore how well Edgar can really mix it up in the octagon. Much like Georges St. Pierre, Edgar has the transition game down to a science, always keeping his opponents guessing, never allowing them to get comfortable and find any sort of range or timing. But Jose Aldo is a different beast.
As unpredictable and dynamic as Benson Henderson is, he’s no Jose Aldo. With kicks that would make even Cristiano Ronaldo look twice, Aldo is extremely unpredictable and dynamic. But don’t let that make you believe that he’s reckless, sloppy or even overzealous. Much like Anderson, Aldo is cerebral, calculated and strikes with precision. Every kick is thrown with the worst of intentions and for all of these reasons I give the striking advantage to Jose Aldo without question.
Wrestling: 70-30 Edgar
I’d say it’s pretty obvious where the advantage lies here. Brazilians aren’t exactly known for their elite wrestling skills or takedown prowess. Although as an exception Aldo has been one of the most difficult fighters to take down in all of the UFC. Facing elite wrestlers like Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber and even Mike Brown, Aldo has shown some serious takedown defense by shutting them all down on numerous occasions.
However with enough expended energy, Aldo has been shown to slow down in the later rounds and like any fatigued fighter, seems to get taken down a little easier. In his fight with Mark Homminick a fighter who is not necessarily known for his wrestling, Homminick ended up scoring a few takedowns and did some solid damage in rounds four and five.
With an unlimited gas tank like the one that Edgar possesses, and some serious grappling skills both offensive and defensive, this fight won’t exactly favor Aldo if it goes to the later rounds. Edgar is a grinder and will show Aldo the definition of heart and endurance if he allows him to do so.
With that said, if this fight doesn’t end in the first round or two, I anticipate many takedowns in favor of Edgar. I hope Jose Aldo prepared rigorously to fight off of his back, otherwise he could be in for a long, painful and exhausting night.
Jiu-Jitsu: 60-40 Aldo
This category is somewhat of an enigma seeing as how both fighters tend to avoid utilizing submissions. Aldo has only one recorded submission in his entire career and that was in his third fight ever, long before he joined the UFC, he does possess a black belt, but has heavily favored his Muay-Thai and overall striking skills.
Edgar on the other hand has three submissions in his career but also seems to favor striking and wrestling as well. He also holds a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu under Ricardo Almeida via the Gracies. This category is a little bit difficult to judge really, given that we’ve seen very little of either fighter on the ground.
While I take Edgar as more than likely being very proficient in submission defense, especially when considering his wrestling experience and skills, I doubt that he has the offensive Jiu-Jitsu skills that Aldo would have. Although I could be completely wrong.
But when you don’t have much to go by, the smartest thing to do in this situation is favor the Brazilian guy. After all, when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu, it’s probably best to favor the opponent who hails from the country of it’s origin. Chances are he happens to be more proficient.
Did you guys agree with my analysis? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!