Welcome to part 2, if you missed part 1, go back here. Part 1
Aldo had nice timing throwing the body knee on multiple occasions and was able to control Edgar’s posture upon takedown attempts.
Since I tend to focus on the stand-up dynamics, I wont go too deep into the takedown specifics but Aldo displayed great takedown defense off of Edgar’s many attempts. Aldo tends to like using his opponent’s movement against them to shake off takedowns.
When Aldo threw a shot and Edgar timed his chance to level change, he secured his head position behind Aldo’s back and Aldo couldn’t turn pivot. Aldo Adapted by reversing Edgar’s momentum the other way instead and forces Edgar into the fence.
Here, Aldo redirects Edgar’s momentum with a whizzer toss.
Aldo has a good sense of foot positioning as well. He’s always adjusting his legs when opponents attempt to place their legs behind him to sweep.
The “Answer” to Aldo
Edgar was able to land some meaningful strikes along this fight. His leg kicks proved to be quite successful. This played so well stylistically because of Aldo’s habits. Since Aldo depended a lot on Edgar’s forward movement, Aldo would constantly move in an attempt to counter. Edgar’s use of kicks highly benefited from Aldo’s constantly movement back. Aldo was not always able to block the kicks because he was in motion (moving backwards). Blocking kick leg kicks often requires you to become grounded to lift the leg and block, so Edgar landing them while Aldo retreated gave him plenty of chances to land unchallenged offensive kicks. The kicks also fit in well to trump Aldo’s range since the kicking range is greater than the punching range that Aldo heavily relied on.
Edgar showed some variety when he pressured Aldo this time around. Edgar used varied pressure; instead of relying on direct pressure, he mixed in passive pressure as well. He applied direct pressure when going on the offensive and applied passive pressure when coming forward with the threat of feints to keep Aldo locked in defensive awareness.
Aldo often looked to use the counter lead hook on Edgar, so Edgar had to be careful coming in. Edgar made good use of feinting to throw off Aldo’s check hook rhythm. Aldo looked to throw the check hook in one timing but Edgar would disrupt that timing with feints then follow up when Aldo wasn’t prepared.
Mixing in wrestling threats also proved beneficial as it worked when Edgar had attempted a takedown to get Aldo to drop his striking defense, then switched into striking.
Frankie had been on a five-fight win streak with impressive wins against high level opponents. Aldo had just come off a fresh 13-second knockout loss from Conor McGregor and doubts were high on whether or not Aldo could still pull off a win. Aldo’s chin had been questioned and to add on top of that, Edgar had been riding a wave of impressive performances. It was a common trend to see Edgar as the favorite the second time around.
If you look at Edgars last five wins; none of the fighters he’s faced had a style like Jose Aldo. Aldo is known for his unique countering ability and his great takedown defense. Edgar’s last 5 wins didn’t tell us much how he would fare against a mobile counter striker with great takedown defense. The biggest question going into this fight was if Edgar could deal with his style this time around? This fight showcased a fantastic war but Edgar failed to do enough to secure a win. We ended up seeing a very similar fight close to what happened in their first meeting.
This doesn’t take away from Edgar’s performance at all. He made a lot of interesting technical adjustments the second time around. As far as Aldo is concerned, his performance reminded everyone why he had been champion for such a long time.Let us not forget that a fighter’s loss does not diminish their technical excellence. Aldo’s takedown defense is no less valuable because his knockout loss. Likewise, Edgar’s footwork is no less useful because of his defeat from Aldo.
I wrote a analysis on Jose Aldo’s fighting style a while back to give a bit more insight into his offensive ability if you’re curious about his craft.
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