With UFC 156 just a couple of weeks away (February 2nd) the pressure and anxiety is starting to creep into every fighter’s mind. This is usually about the time that the fighters stop pushing their bodies over the limit each day in training and instead start focusing on tightening up their tools, perfecting their game plans, and begin dropping weight for the weigh-ins.
The big question buzzing around UFC 156 right now seems to be how the drop in weight of former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar is affecting him. Edgar will be making his first appearance as a featherweight (145 lbs.) as he will attempt to dethrone the current UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo and become only the third fighter in company history to be a multi-division champion.
Edgar is coming off of two consecutive losses to current Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson, the first of which he lost his title to Henderson. Many members of the media and the UFC president himself called for Edgar to drop to a more suitable weight class to better his chances of regaining his dominance. Edgar at first refused saying he wanted to stay where he felt healthy and didn’t have to cut weight but he eventually took the bait when he was offered another title fight, this time at featherweight against the man many consider the pound-for-pound best in the world, Jose Aldo. This fight, in many people’s eyes, is being considered a “Superfight” and Edgar has never been one to back down from a big fight like this one.
Edgar’s drop in weight has been a hot topic for the past few weeks and the media finally had the chance to ask him some questions at yesterday’s UFC 156 conference call. Here is a breakdown of the questions Edgar fielded and answered;
On the weight cut for his first fight at 145 pound:
It’s been pretty much just positive. When I was at 155, I was forcing myself to eat more and lift a little heavy to try to put on size. Now it’s more natural. I feel like my conditioning’s better. I’m actually a little quicker. It’s just a little less stressful. I don’t have to worry about eating like every 2 hours.
Edgar was also asked about what problems Aldo will present and how he’s prepared and game planned for such an explosive fighter:
He’s one of the most dynamic strikers we have. He’s very athletic and explosive compared to some of the guys I fought at 155. He has a lot of tools. Especially in his striking. We’ve seen he’s got great takedowns and takedown defense. I can’t point out just one thing that would definitely win it for me because I definitely think he’s well rounded. He executes the leg kick very well. We’ve addressed that in this camp and I’m as ready as I can be for him. I’m ready to stand with him. I’m ready to test the waters for the takedown. I come from a wrestling background. There hasn’t been anybody I haven’t been able to takedown yet, so I’m gonna go out there and go for some takedowns.
Edgar was also asked about how adding Edson Barboza to his training camp has helped him prepare for Aldo:
Edson’s been a big piece of this camp and a great new teammate. His Muay Thai, it doesn’t get any better than that. He’s a little bigger, too, he’s got great takedown defense as well. Him, along with one of his old training partners Marlon Moraes (I’ve been) doing round robins with them on a daily basis. They’ve got me more than ready.
And finally Edgar touched on what it would mean to be a two-division UFC Champion:
It’s never really been done except by Randy Couture and B.J. Penn and they’re legends in our sport. So to be mentioned with guys like that, it kinda speaks for itself. I’m not trying to look for it just by itself. I’m just focused on my next fight. If I win my next fight it takes care of everything.
Edgar seems ready and determined to get his name back in the win column. With his weight down and his natural abilities at their peak Edgar will likely have a shot to solidify himself as a future hall of famer if he can somehow notch a win over the dangerous Jose Aldo and become a two-division UFC champion. Best of luck to Mr. Edgar and we look forward to seeing a spectacular fight come February 2nd at UFC 156. See you all there, fight fans!Tags: "bj Penn", Edson Barboza, featherweight, featured, Frankie Edgar, Jose Aldo, mma, MMA NEWS, randy couture, ufc, ufc 156