It’s arguably the greatest UFC card in history at UFC 200 on Saturday night from Las Vegas, and the interim featherweight championship is on the line when Jose Aldo takes on Frankie Edgar in one of the co-main events. Aldo, the former champion, is a surprising even-money underdog on MMA odds with Edgar at -120. The over/under is 4.5 rounds on betting lines with the over a very slight favorite.
Taking a Closer Look at the UFC 200 Lines & Free MMA Pick on Aldo vs. Edgar
Why is this for the interim featherweight title? Because the true champion, Conor McGregor, has given up the belt because he wants to get vengeance on Nate Diaz for his first career loss. Those two were originally on this UFC 200 card but McGregor wouldn’t promote the fight as required by his contract so the UFC yanked the bout. McGregor will now face Diaz at UFC 202 in a non-title fight. Diaz beat McGregor by submission in the second round of a welterweight bout March 5 at UFC 196, ending one of the most lucrative pay-per-view shows in MMA history with a big upset.
McGregor is still technically the UFC’s featherweight champion, but since he’s not making his title defense, Aldo and Edgar will meet for the interim belt, with the winner presumably getting the first shot at a unification fight against McGregor later this year.
Aldo (25-2), is a 29-year-old from Brazil. “Scarface” was the longtime featherweight champion even going back to his days in the now-defunct WEC. But Aldo was destroyed by McGregor at UFC 194 in December 2015, falling by a knockout (punches) just 13 seconds in. That’s the shortest title fight in UFC history. It only took McGregor one punch. McGregor sidestepped a charging Aldo and landed a huge left hand to the jaw, which stopped Aldo cold. McGregor landed a couple brutal hammer fists to the downed Aldo before referee John McCarthy called off the fight.
Aldo, who had been champion since winning what was then the WEC title from Mike Brown in November 2009, had an 18-fight win streak snapped. It was his first loss since November 2005.
Edgar (20-4-1) is a 34-year-old from the United States. “The Answer” is a former lightweight champion who moved down to featherweight in February 2013. And he lost to Aldo by unanimous decision at UFC 156. Judges Adalaide Byrd, Jeff Collins and Junichiro Kamijo scored the bout 49-46, 48-47 and 49-46 in Aldo’s favor, and Aldo scoffs at Edgar for thinking should have taken the victory.
“Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? No way,” he said. “I haven’t watched it anymore because I know I easily won that. I won that only with my left arm. I don’t know where he saw that. You can say he won the fifth round and that’s it, but I won the other four. I won, no doubt.”
Edgar has won five straight fights since. He was last in the Octagon at the Ultimate Fighter 22 finale in December 2015, beating Chad Mendes by first-round knockout (punches). Edgar followed a powerful right hand with a left to leave Mendes on canvas and the referee jumped in to halt the fight with Mendes lying prone.
Edgar says he’s a much different fighter from his first showdown with Aldo and that Aldo’s lopsided loss will mess with his mind: “It has to mess with you. Close losses mess with you, never mind getting knocked out with one punch. Especially to a guy like Conor, who is going to relish in it the way he does and talk about it the way he does, no one’s better than him with that. I don’t want to say it was embarrassing because it can happen to anybody, but for Aldo, I think it was a little embarrassing. To be on top for so long and then have it happen like that to that guy. That’s definitely got to mess with him. I do think if I hit him with some good stuff early on, he’s going to really be questioning himself.”
Expert Betting Prediction
I’m a bit surprised Aldo is an underdog on betting lines considering how good he was for years before the McGregor surprise. I like Aldo here by decision.