UFC: Munhoz vs. Edgar - Main Fight Preview


Pedro Munhoz (18-4-1NC in MMA, 8-4-1 in the UFC) was in great ascendancy towards the top of the bantamweight category. He had a giant win against Cody Garbrandt, then number # 2 in the category who could not handle the open striking with the Brazilian, who supplanted the former champion in the first round . Thus, Pedrinho put himself in a dispute for the opportunity to challenge the champion against Aljamain Sterling. The mission of winning the “Funky Master” became very ungrateful, since the American managed to take control of the distance and avoided exchanging blows in his pocket.. The American Top Team athlete did little, in addition to putting up with the damage done and moving forward for 15 minutes. After the defeat at UFC 238, he was away for almost a year until he had the fight scheduled against Edgar, but he still saw the fight rescheduled three times, once because he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

The Brazilian has had an interesting evolution since his UFC debut against Raphael Assunção, overcoming the complicated start and showing to be an opportunist with a lot of hands. With a great nose for submissions - especially guillotines - and a decent takedown defense, he manages to keep his opponents more fond of wrestling at a distance. Sterling even barely attempted a takedown. Standing up, the defense is more neglected, with excellent absorption capacity and courage worthy of the opponent of the night, Pedro uses low kicks to undermine the movement and very heavy fists to end the fights. Cardiorespiratory fitness was never tested in a 5-round fight, but against Sterling he showed that he is able to maintain his fighting style for at least 15 minutes, even in adverse conditions.

Frankie Edgar (23-8-1 in MMA, 17-8-1 in the UFC) needs no introduction. The short man from New Jersey finally makes the movement he has been flirting with for some time and falls once again into a category, now to one that has always seemed to be the most suitable for his biotype. With a long road to go, a good handful of battles and more than a decade of being part of the elite of two very tough categories, Edgar seems to be really experiencing the twilight of his career. The recent retrospective is of three defeats in the last four fights, two by the fast painful route, unprecedented in his career. Between the two knockouts, a victory for the also tired Cub Swanson and a dignified defeat suffered in a belt dispute that fell in his lap against Max Holloway. With the weight drop finally achieved,

The son of Toms River took to the extreme the “American style” of fighting MMA: Wrestling and Boxing. The grappling was very fluid, managed to move very well between the standing game and the takedowns, once on the ground, had a competent jiu-jitsu trained by the hands of Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Cachorrão, in addition to an efficient ground and pound. However, it was on foot that Frankie shone and had his best moments, with extremely fast fists and with a state of the art movement, Edgar made the famous come-and-go without being hit with incredible speed and with great tenacity. In defense, it was worth a lot of speed to dodge, but sometimes it let a few blows from his opponents leak, in the past, the smell of blood made Edgar go into “fury” mode, showing the giant heart and leading opponents to deepest waters. The problem is that a style like this takes its toll over time. Today, the much lower speed allows more blows to enter and the chin is no longer able to absorb so much damage. In this regard, perhaps the decision to cut more weight has not been made correctly.

Sterling made clear the path to beat Munhoz: Avoiding the pocket , striking from a distance and moving around a lot are the keys to stopping the Brazilian. A more feasible way for Frankie, in a similar sense, would be to impose a game of speed in order not to be found by Pedro's fists, wear out the Brazilian and take the fight from a distance or find an interruption in the “ championship rounds ”. One day Edgar was able to play this game, today it seems very unlikely that he will be able to, even more so in the small octagon. Using good wrestling may even be a way out, but Frankie will have to be triple careful not to be finished, besides, there is some doubt regarding his real physical ability in the cocks.

For Pedrinho the path is the same as always, moving forward, finding the gaps in the American's movement, putting his heavy fists into the game and delivering the third knockout of the former champion's career. Another possible outcome would be to find Edgar's neck during a more desperate fallout.

In the end it seems unlikely that the result of this Saturday's main event will be different from a Brazilian victory. 

UFC: Munhoz vs. Edgar - Main Fight Preview




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