Jose Aldo will defend the UFC Featherweight Championship against Frankie Edgar in the UFC 156 main event. The matchup was supposed to take place in October, but Aldo backed out due to a foot injury. Both fighters are now ready, and fans should be in for a treat.
The stacked card also features Alistair Overeem taking on Antonio Silva and Rashad Evans against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. So by the time Aldo and Edgar step inside the Octagon the crowd should be hot and expectations will be sky high.
Luckily, they should put on quite a show. Aldo will be defending his title for the first time since last January when he knocked out Chad Mendes late in the opening round. It will be interesting to see how the long layoff impacts him, especially early.
The main storyline for Edgar will surround how he handles the drop to featherweight. He will lose the speed advantage he so often held in that division, but the move should help him be more competitive across the board.
He's coming off two straight losses to Benson Henderson, which helped convince him dropping down would be the best move. Heading straight into a title fight will be tricky, though.
If fights were based completely on current talent level, Aldo would win going away. Obviously, that's not the case. There are several other factors that come into play, including Edgar's experience and ability to hang tough.
The 31-year-old veteran only has three losses in his career, and they all came by decision. He's never been knocked out. While that might not seem like much, it's definitely a mental advantage in a bout where both fighters are looking for every little advantage they can get.
Aldo will attempt to wear him down with his devastating kick combinations. Just how effective those strikes are will have a major impact on the fight. If he can wear him down and ensure Edgar doesn't have the power left to mount a comeback, the Brazilian should be in good shape.
Furthermore, the increased pace of the featherweight division is going to work against Edgar. That's one area where he always seemed to thrive as a lightweight. But Aldo is quick and athletic, which is going to cause problems.
Both fighters bring their own unique style to the fight. The overall difference between them is minimal. Expect a long battle that ends up falling in the champion's favor by decision.
Prediction: Aldo by decision