Which of this week’s UFC title fights are most intriguing, and why?
RICH HANSEN, MMATORCH COLUMNIST
For me the clear answer is Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar, despite the fact that nobody could blame either fighter if they come in to this fight treating the reward (and the fight itself for that matter) as a consolation prize. Aldo lost his title to Conor McGregor in 14 seconds. Edgar has won approximately 42 fights in a row without getting a title shot. Aldo desperately wants to avenge his loss to McGregor. Edgar desperately wants any shot at McGregor. Will they both overlook one another? Will they both realize that the only way they get to McGregor is to win on Saturday night? How will their original fight impact the upcoming UFC 200 fight (answer: not at all, but still)? If Aldo wins and McGregor never returns to featherweight, will Aldo then chase him to 155 lbs? How will Edgar handle the same situation, considering all the time he’s spent putting his lightweight days behind him. There are a zillion questions at play here, and this is the most intriguing title fight of the month (other than the intrigue of wondering what the hell Tyron Woodley has on which member of Zuffa ownership, of course).
FRANK HYDEN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think they’re all intriguing, but if I have to choose, I’ll go with Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar for the UFC Featherweight Title and the battle for the UFC Light Heavyweight Title between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones from UFC 200. Aldo looked nearly unbeatable before losing to Conor McGregor, and Edgar has been rampaging through most of his opponents lately. However, his last loss was against Aldo. So I want to see how each guy responds. It should be a great fight. And Cormier has been looking good in most of his last fights as well, except for a loss to Jones previously. Jones has been out of the game dealing with legal issues, then returned with an effective but lackluster win and now finds himself seeking to reclaim the belt he never should have had taken away. Can Jones be the fighter he was two years ago? He’s going to have to fight better than he did in his last fight. If he fights like that against Cormier he’s going to lose. The other title fights are extremely interesting as well, but I think these two are the most intriguing.
BRAD WALKER, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I can’t look beyond the Jones vs Cormier fight that is probably going to be extra ugly and full of grudge match style hatred. These guys have no love lost between them, and are going to do whatever it takes to finish each other before it goes to the judges. Jones handed Cormier a whooping in their first bout; now it looks to be in Cormier’s favor with Jones most likely suffering from ring rust and having had his mind off of the sport for a while. This match has fun written all over it as well as blood, money, violence and excitement
JAMIE PENICK, MMATORCH EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
I still love the Friday night fight between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha, and Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier has a slight tinge of “well just what exactly will we see from Jon Jones” to it, but the Interim Featherweight Title fight between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar is right up there the closer we get to it. Take the Conor McGregor piece of this fight out and you’ve still got a fantastic rematch between two of the most elite competitors to ever fight in the featherweight field. They’re fighting for second best right now, sure, but it’s an awesome matchup we’d have wanted to see anyway down the line. Their first fight was competitive, and Edgar took that on relatively short notice in his first ever cut to 145 lbs. He’s only gotten better from there, and we don’t know what we’ll see out of Aldo after a loss because, well, he hadn’t ever been beaten under the Zuffa banner before. There is a ton to like about this fight, and it’s still just one of many highly entertaining fights on Saturday’s card.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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