Jose Aldo fought with a measured, but aggressive counter-heavy strategy against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, and the plan carried him to a decision victory and the interim championship.
UFC 200 is being held tonight (July 9, 2016) at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip in Paradise, Nevada.
The event will be the first that the organization has hosted at T-Mobile Arena, which opened in April 2016. It takes place during the UFC’s annual International Fight Week and marks the second time the UFC has held host three events in consecutive days.
José Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar took place on the main card which aired on PPV.
Both competitors move to the center of the cage and begin looking for openings. Edgar wanted to be the one moving forward and Aldo allowed it. The former champ was being very patient as Edgar began to increase his output. It was clear Aldo wanted to attack with counters. Few notable strikes were landed in the first three minutes of the fight, but Edgar looked to have a slight advantage. Aldo landed his best punch of the round up to that point, a straight right with under a minute left, and followed with good knees and a flurry of punches to end the round.
Aldo continued to allow Edgar to come forward when the action got back underway. Edgar used the pressure to set up his leg kicks from the outside. Frankie wanted a takedown, but Aldo made him pay for the attempt with a sharp knee to the face. A cut opened up on the corner of Edgar’s right eye, and blood ran freely down his face. The blood didn’t stop Edgar from tagging Aldo with a hard hook moments later, though. Each man landed heavy punches in the following moments. Aldo was now landing more shots as Edgar tried to rush him. he started to open up and landed a good jumping knee before moving on to the third round.
Edgar started having more troubles with Aldo’s counters at the beginning of the round. He decided to go for a takedown and failed again. He did get the clinch, though, and controlled Aldo on the fence for a moment. Frankie scored with a combo that pushed Aldo back and tried to press the advantage. Aldo whiffed on a knee, but it made Frankie second guess the aggression. Edgar was still able to score with a hard shot and shoot, but still couldn’t get the fight to the canvas. For the third round in a row, Aldo landed a knee just before the horn.
They entered the championship rounds with both men still looking relatively fresh, outside of Frankie’s busted up face. Aldo’s output slowed, though, while Edgar’s seemed to stay consistent. That was a slightly good sign for the former lightweight champ. Edgar was taking the round based on volume at the two minute mark. Aldo finally opened up around that time, though, and climbed back into the round. Aldo began to try and put more distance between himself and Edgar with a minute left, but started coming forward again and scored with some jabs. He even put Edgar on the mat for a moment with one.
The final round started with more of same, as Aldo backed up and Frankie tried to chase him down while avoiding counters. A right hand counter stopped Frankie in his tracks for a moment. He was bleeding badly still, as well. The status quo of Frankie-chase-Aldo-counter continued up to the final minute. Aldo planted his feet and waited for Frankie to come to him, but didn’t get his wish. he went back to circling and looking to potshot as the fight came to an end.
The judges saw the bout in favor of Jose Aldo, awarding him the UFC featherweight interim title with scores of 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47.