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Super fights: MMA fans clamor for them constantly, but rarely do they actually see them materialize. For example, we still haven’t seen Anderson Silva take on Georges St. Pierre or Jon Jones. Still, every now and then the high-profile matchups that fans lust for do come together, which will be the case this weekend at UFC 156, when featherweight champion Jose Aldo defends his belt against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in about that has piqued the interest of fans for some time.
Both men have carved out niches for themselves as fan-favorites, despite the stark differences in their styles. Where Aldo relies on dizzying power, snapping leg kicks, and impressive takedown defense, Edgar has found success with his slick boxing, impressive footwork and, of course, his bread and butter: wrestling. The varying styles of these two fighters make this fight a difficult one to call, but if predictions can be made, who better to make them than other professional fighters?
Below are a collection of expert (pro fighters’) opinions and predictions, assembled exclusively for Knuxx.com
Alessio “Legionarius” Sakara (UFC middleweight): I’m going with Aldo, I think this is a very competitive match and both have a chance to win, but I know Aldo personally from Brazil. He is a very talented athlete and I think he is a more complete fighter.
Roland “Stunning” Delorme (UFC bantamweight): Aldo by leg kicks— fourth-round stoppage.
Jon Fitch (UFC welterweight): I think if Jose Aldo is able to use his speed and maintain his distance from the outside and set things up with his kicks and hands, I think he’s got a good chance of winning or wearing down Frankie Edgar. But Frankie is extremely good at blurring the line between stand-up and wrestling. A lot of guys kind of have a solid break between those two disciplines. If he’s able to utilize his abilities to kind of blend those lines, he could definitely wear down Jose Aldo and break him and push his cardio to a place it hasn’t been before. If he’s able to do that then Frankie Edgar wins that fight.
Brian “Bad Boy” Ebersole (UFC welterweight): Who wins this fight? The fans. Two elite-level athletes making for an entertaining bout. Both are fast and both can grapple effectively. I’m not picking a winner, but will simply watch with a sense of awe.
Tim “The Thrashing Machine” Hague (former UFC heavyweight): I think Frankie Edgar has too strong of a will. I think he will get a late stoppage or he will win by decision.
Kultar “Black Mamba” Gill (K-1 veteran and SFL welterweight): It all depends if Aldo can get his striking with low legs kicks off in the first few rounds to slow Frankie down. If he can’t, then Frankie will just outwork Aldo and win a decision. Fifty-fifty—whoever can execute their game plan wins!
Chris Camozzi (UFC middleweight): That’s a tough one. I think Frankie can beat Aldo. I’m a big Aldo fan too. We saw Aldo run out of gas versus [Mark] Hominick, and Edgar sets a faster pace than anyone. Earlier rounds Aldo wins. If it goes to a decision, I think Edgar.
James “Colossus” Thompson (former PRIDE heavyweight and current SFL heavyweight): I’m going for Edgar. I was so impressed with him both times he fought Benson, as Benson was the bigger, stronger guy. The first time they fought, while the decision was right, the heart that Edgar showed to keep going was something else. The second time I had Benson to win. I was shocked to see Edgar improve and, in my eyes and many others’ eyes, win it. Now he’s dropping down a weight class. I just think the physical advantages won’t be there for Aldo, who I’m also a big fan of and who can, at that weight, beat anyone. If the weight cut doesn’t hurt Edgar and he comes in like he has in previous fights only lighter, I see Edgar taking it in the later rounds—let’s say round four.
John “Prince” Albert (UFC bantamweight): Edgar is an absolute beast, no doubt, but I have Aldo in this one because of his takedown defense and “scrambleability.” He’ll chop Edgar down. Ben [Henderson] landed leg kicks quite a bit, and Jose is gonna dig into him, but it’ll be a decision win for Aldo. You can’t finish Edgar.
Duane “Bang” Ludwig (UFC welterweight): Aldo, because of leg kicks, but I’d like to see Frankie win.
Mike “The Honey Badger” Hackert (MFC heavyweight): I’m a fan of both, but I think Frankie’s wrestling will be the factor in this fight that will get him the W.
Antonio Carvalho (UFC featherweight): I really don’t have a prediction. I just want to watch the fight and enjoy the action. Two of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world are going to go at it and I’m curious of the outcome myself.
The pros are divided in the days leading up to this fight, and many are unable to pick a winner at all. Luckily the wait is almost over. In a few short days, Aldo and Edgar will collide for the featherweight title and a spot near the top of MMA’s pound-for-pound list. Enjoy the super fight!
Follow Tom Taylor on Twitter @TomTayMMA