The much anticipated fight was initially set for UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, until Aldo suffered an infection to a foot injury he suffered in a motorcycle accident. The fight was scrapped as a result. Now in the words of Frankie Edgar, “Finally, the fight that a lot of people have been talking about is finally going to happen.”
Edgar has been through his share of wars. After he lost the strap to Benson Henderson at UFC 144 in Japan, Edgar got the rematch against Henderson at UFC 150 in Denver and lost via split decision. While there was an outcry that Edgar had outpointed Henderson, he made one major mistake in leaving the outcome in the hands of the judges. One judge had in fact scored the bout 49-46 in favor of Edgar, while the other two saw the fight 48-47 for Benson.
After the loss, Frankie decided to make the switch that UFC President Dana White and pundits had been calling for for years. He announced he’d drop to 145. He was offered the UFC 153 title shot after Aldo’s original challenger, Erik Koch withdrew from the title fight due to injury.
Current champ Jose Aldo has not been defeated in his last 14 fights and has successfully defended his title three times since being named the UFC champ. Frankie said his gameplan is to unleash everything he’s got to stop “Scarface”.
“I’m going to do it all. I don’t like to go in there saying I’m going to do one thing. I’m a mixed martial artist and I feel I’m well rounded enough to take the fight wherever it needs to be. I think I can stand with pretty much anybody, I think I can wrestle with anybody and I feel I can compete on the floor with jiu jitsu with anybody. He’s definitely a tall task in an opponent, but I just think fighting guys at the caliber fights I’ve had throughout the years has only got me better and I think Jose will do that as well.”
In his rematch against Henderson, Frankie took a lot of low leg kicks from Henderson that seemed to get him off his game momentarily. Aldo, of course, has been known to batter his opponents with the same style leg kick. But Frankie is well aware of Aldo’s tactics and is preparing the best he can for them.
“When Benson came out he kind of was throwing a low leg kick, which did throw me off a little bit. But I felt I made the adjustment within that first round, and I feel that rounds two through five he didn’t really catch me with it at all the rest of the fight. I’m sure that’s something Jose is going to pay attention to, being that he’s such a devastating leg kicker, but I’ve been working my Muay Thai and working some things. Like I’ve been saying, this challenge is going to make me step up and address it.”
Being that Aldo has had such a dominant reign at featherweight in both the WEC and the UFC, Edgar said that a man like Aldo, doesn’t have many flaws in his game.
“It’s tough to really put any chinks in any of these guys armor that are at this high level now. I just think I’m going to have to push him and test his mettle. I think that’s what I do well, I push the pace and that’s what I’m going to have to do in this fight for sure.”
Now that he’s set to make his featherweight debut in a title shot against one of the toughest opponents the UFC has to offer any competitor, Frankie said that even before he joined the 145 division, he thought about what it would be like to face Aldo.
“For me, you always run different guys through your head, different possible match-ups and what not. Being that he was at the top of the heap and I was at the top of the heap, in different weight classes, everyone was talking about, it definitely crossed my mind before. As far as training for it, I don’t try to train too much for a name, I just try to train for a style. But, my boxing coach, he’s kind of a maniac, I guess you could say, I’m sure we were doing a lot of stuff that was for Aldo and I didn’t even know it.”
The UFC has confirmed that the featherweight title fight, Aldo vs Edgar, will be the main event at UFC 156 taking place in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay on February 2nd.
Additionally, Frankie Edgar is involved with MTV’s “Restore the Shore” Hurricane Sandy relief effort to be aired live from Times Square in New York City next Thursday. The Tom’s River, New Jersey native is doing his part to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy which struck the East Coast. In effort to help raise funds for the afflicted areas during the natural disaster, Frankie will join the some of the Jersey Shore cast in the telethon on November 14th to help raise money and the rebuilding process.
Below is a partial recording of the Frankie Edgar interview, the full interview is available on our iTunes:
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