Announced late Thursday night August 30, Featherweight contender Erik Koch has been forced to withdraw from his scheduled title bout against division champion Jose Aldo in the main event for UFC 153 on October 13. During training Koch suffered a knee injury that made forced him to withdraw from the card. With Koch injured and other contenders either out with injury as well or coming off a loss as in Hatsu Hioki’s case, former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar has been brought in to take on Aldo with the bout still set to headline UFC 153. Aldo will be coming into the bout on a fourteen fight win streak since his first and only loss in 2005, which includes capturing the WEC title and defending 2x before transitioning to the UFC becoming the inaugural Featherweight champion and defending the title 3x. Edgar will be coming into the bout off his first losing streak with two straight losses first losing his Lightweight title in a close and considerably controversial decision to Benson Henderson, and an immediate rematch that resulted in an even more controversial decision loss for Edgar; prior to losing the title Edgar had gone 6-0-1 since his first professional which included winning the UFC Lightweight title defending it 2x successfully and in one title defense the result was a Split Draw.
Competing since 2004 originally with a background in BJJ, Jose Aldo has become one of #1 Featherweight in the world. After suffering his first loss in late 2005 after going unbeaten in his first seven bouts with all ending via stoppage, he has gone unbeaten in fourteen straight bouts today with only six of those going the distance. Debuting in the WEC with a record of 10-1, Aldo earned five more victories that included stopping future TUF12 winner Jonathan Brookins and veteran fighter Cub Swanson. Next defeating champion Mike Brown via Rnd2 TKO, he defended the title twice in the promotion with a dominant Unanimous Decision over former champion Urijah Faber and a Rnd2 KO over TUF5 finalist Manvel Gamburyan. With the WEC absorbed into the UFC Aldo became the promotions inaugural Featherweight champion. Since becoming the first UFC Featherweight champion he has defended his title 3x with a dominant Unanimous Decision over Mark Hominick, another dominant Unanimous Decision over TUF1 finalist and 2x Lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian, and most recently handing Chad Mendes his first professional loss with a Rnd1 KO finish. Now set to take on former Lightweight champion Frankie Edger, who only lost his title earlier this year, this could be one of the biggest challenges he has faced with a victory making his case for a potential move up to challenge for the Lightweight title.
Starting his career in 2005 Frankie Edgar went 5-0, which included a Unanimous Decision over future UFC contender Jim Miller, before debuting in the UFC in 2007. Extending his undefeated streak with a Unanimous Decision over perennial contender Tyson Griffin, a Rnd1 TKO over Mark Bocek, and a Unanimous Decision over Spencer Fisher, Edgar would suffer his first professional loss via Unanimous Decision to fellow undefeated wrestler Gray Maynard. After suffering his first loss he went unbeaten in three straight bouts with Unanimous Decisions over former contender Hermes Franca and former champion Sean Sherk before earning a Rnd2 Submission finish over Matt Veach. Awarded a shot at champion BJ Penn he pulled a major upset winning the title via Unanimous Decision, and would defeat Penn again in an immediate rematch more dominantly than in the first meeting. In his next two title defenses Edgar fought Maynard in rematches with the first ending in a controversial Split Draw that warranted an immediate third meeting, and in the third meeting Edgar evened the score defeating Maynard via Rnd4 KO making it 1-1-1 between them. Next taking on former WEC champion Benson Henderson in the main event for the promotion’s long awaited return to Japan, Edgar would lose the title via Unanimous Decision in which many fans felt should have gone his way. Granted an immediate rematch he fought Henderson to reclaim the title at UFC 150 where he arguably won four of the five rounds which one judge agreed with, but the two other judges scored the bout to Henderson with three of the five rounds in his favor making it a Split Decision loss for Edgar.
After resisting the constant suggestion to drop down from Lightweight to Featherweight, which he had to deal with even when champion, Edgar decided to make the move down following the second loss to Henderson. Originally expected to make his Featherweight debut later in the year Edgar is now called in to immediately challenge for the title, news that some fans actually disliked. Even with Edgar coming off a two fight losing streak, that streak is composed of losing his Lightweight title in a close decision and losing in an immediate rematch for the title in what many considered a controversial decision that should have gone his way. Even with these losses and with the results being so close, it cannot be denied that Edgar is one of the best Lightweights in the sport still, a fact proven when he defeated arguably one of the best fighters the division has seen when he beat B.J. Penn twice. Now taking on the #1 Featherweight in the world in his first appearance in the division, Edgar has the opportunity become only the third fighter ever in UFC history to win a title in two weight classes; the first being Hall of Famer Randy Couture (3x Heavyweight, 2x Light Heavyweight), and the second being B.J. Penn (1x Welterweight, 1x Lightweight).
On Monday September 3 it champion Jose Aldo was involved in a motorcycle accident while driving Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fortunately Aldo walked away from the accident with minor bruising and scratches suffering no injuries. He will still headline UFC 153 against Edgar.
Written by @MMAFanHQ