After his second consecutive controversial loss to Benson Henderson, Frankie Edgar received a phone call from UFC President Dana White.
White informed Edgar that featherweight contender Erik Koch was injured and unable to fight featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo. Edgar, of course, jumped at the opportunity.
This Saturday night at UFC 156, Edgar will face Aldo in the UFC's first "super fight" of the year. Both men are currently in the prime of their respective careers in what promises to be a historical bout.
Let's breakdown what each man has to do to win.
Training with Anderson Silva surely has it's benefits as Aldo is by far the most feared striker in the lighter weight classes. His leg kicks are debilitating, his punches are accurate and his takedown defense has become legendary.
He is the reigning king of vicious knockouts.
Aldo's explosive attack will surely test Edgar in the early rounds. Aldo has predicted Edgar will be weaker in the smaller weight class and I'd expect him to go in for the kill as soon as the fight begins. Aldo will use his vicious leg kicks to restrict Edgar's footwork but he will have to be careful since Edgar has a knack for catching kick attacks and firing back.
If the fight does end up going into the championship rounds, Aldo will have to be more aware of his opponent's takedowns. Permitting he isn't gassed by then, Aldo should however be able to stuff each attempt with ease.
Aldo's best chance for victory is to end Edgar's night early.
Edgar is one of the few men you can call a true mixed martial artist. Tight boxing, superior footwork, NCCA Division I wrestling; these are the ingredients of a champion.
Edgar must survive the oncoming onslaught of the first round by using his footwork and head movement. He also must check or catch as many Aldo leg kicks as he can because he certainly doesn't want to be a one-legged fighter against the likes of Aldo.
If Edgar is able to get the fight to the later rounds, his wrestling skills give him the ability to drag Aldo into deep water. Aldo has gotten tired during the championship rounds in the past and Edgar is fully aware of this.
Speed could end up being the deciding factor in the outcome as both men are two of the faster fighters in the UFC. However, it has yet to be seen if Edgar's speed can match Aldo's at this weight class.
If Edgar does have any advantages against the champion it would be his outstanding heart and the experience of fighting the best lightweights in the world. Yes--Aldo has destroyed every featherweight in his path but Edgar has the better names on his resume(Bj Penn, Gray Maynard, Jim Miller).
In closing, I have to say this is a fight I've been looking forward to for sometime. What can we expect you ask?
Fireworks, kid. Fireworks.
Zachary Hutton is the lead boxing writer and an MMA contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can see what he's up to at his band's website myunclethewolf.com or also subscribe at Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty