One man reigned on top of the featherweight division for a long time, and he obviously still has a keen intrrest in the evolution of his division. One major change came at UFC 222, when perennial contender Frankie Edgar took a short-notice fight with the dangerous Brian Ortega – and lost. From Jose Aldo’s side of things, he believes Edgar shouldn’t have taken the fight. But in an interview on the Giro Combate show in Brazil (transcribed by MMA Junkie), he said he wasn’t surprised by the outcome:
“It’s a new generation that’s coming in Age comes for everyone, and it’s normal to have this sort of rotation. To me, it wasn’t (surprising). I just thought it was a mistake on Edgar’s end to fight (Ortega), who’s a very tough guy. He would have fought for the title, risked that and lost. Now he’s all the way back there again.
“I think that was his biggest mistake. But I wasn’t surprised with the loss. That’s part of it. When you go in there, anyone can come out victorious, whether it’s via knockout or points, and that’s part of fighting.”
He was also asked to share his thoughts on the next title bout between Ortega and champion Max Holloway:
“It’s a very even fight, I think” Aldo said. “Both have very similar reaches. In the striking department, too, I don’t see any of them as a specialist. The one specialty I see is Ortega’s guillotine, which is very strong.
“But Max won’t take him down. He’ll stand. So the fight will be decided on the feet.”
Aldo is currently looking for a fight with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 224 to bounce back from consecutive losses to Holloway. Ortega and Holloway are expected to fight not long after Holloway heals from the injury that forced him out of UFC 222 in the first place.