Jose Aldo trumped onetime lightweight king Frankie Edgar on Saturday night in the UFC 156 main event, taking a five-round unanimous decision from “The Answer” to cap the evening’s pay-per-view broadcast from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Aldo took charge early in the contest, rifling off a piston-like jab and cracking the challenger with whipping low kicks through the bout’s first 10 minutes. However, despite taking a clear-cut beating in the first two rounds, the resilient Edgar held true to form and gained some ground in the third frame by stepping inside of the champion’s kicking range and exchanging on the inside. The championship rounds also proved quite competitive, though Edgar arguably got the better of Aldo in the final 10 minutes.
In spite of Edgar’s considerable efforts, Aldo remained UFC featherweight champion when the smoke cleared, earning scores of 49-46 (twice) and 48-47. Though the bout turned into a back-and-forth affair during its final 15 minutes, the champion said he never doubted the fight’s outcome.
“My cornermen were talking to me all the time, and they were explaining the situation round-by-round. I was pretty confident about the results,” Aldo told Fox Sports after his victory. “I believe I won every round. In the fourth round, he was dominant for about a minute when he threw me down and caught my back, but after that, I came back to a dominant position and controlled the center of the ring. I was very comfortable, so I thought I won every round.”
Though Aldo admitted that Edgar put forth a strong effort, “Scarface” was not ready to name “The Answer” his toughest opponent to date.
“As a former champion, of course he was a very tough opponent, but I’ve also had very tough fights in the past. I can’t rate him as my toughest opponent, because a lot of my fights in the past were also very tough,” said Aldo. “I felt that he was a little bit slower [than me], and I didn’t feel like he had very much punching power. I believe he felt it a little bit from dropping down in weight.”
Though Aldo has gone undefeated in 12 featherweight appearances with UFC parent company Zuffa, it is no secret that making 145 pounds has always been a stretch for the hard-hitting Brazilian. As a result, Aldo said that he will inevitably move up to lightweight. However, the champion also believes that decision is not his to make, just as he will not choose his next featherweight title challenger.
“I think that one day, I will go up to 155 [pounds], but that is not up to me. That’s my coaches’ decision, so [I will go] whenever they decide it’s right to go to lightweight,” said Aldo. “Joe Silva is a great matchmaker, and he will find the right opponent for me. Whoever comes my way, I will have great respect for [him], and we will have a great fight. I like to fight against the best fighters. I train hard, and I train a lot, because I’m a professional fighter. Whoever comes my way, I will be ready to fight.”