When Frankie Edgar steps into the Octagon to face Jose Aldo in Saturday’s UFC 156 main event, Edgar would be wise to remember a simple mantra: dictate the pressure.
Take it from Mark Hominick, who knows first-hand what it’s like to deal with Aldo’s unrelenting forward assault.
“When I was in the cage with him, one thing I noticed was his explosiveness,” the recently retired Hominick told Fighters.com.
Aldo’s explosiveness – and the tenacity with which Hominick pushed back – made for a thrilling Featherweight showdown in front of 55,000 fans at Toronto’s Rogers Centre in the spring of 2011.
Hominick would ultimately lose to Aldo via unanimous decision – and suffer a gruesome, muffin-sized hematoma on his forehead – but he attained some consolation by earning Fight of the Night honors. Hominick refers to the match as his “career-defining moment” in MMA.
Hominick had studied Aldo’s highlight reel in the weeks leading up to the fight – and imagines Edgar is currently doing the same – but said it only revealed a partial story.
“He’s got one of those highlight reels you sit in awe of,” said Hominick. “But when you get in there, he’s definitely a different beast.”
Anyone who squares off against Aldo needs to be cautious of his penchant for brutal legkicks, which Hominick says is all the more reason to close the distance quickly.
“A lot of people have already lost before they step in the ring with him because the first step they take is backwards,” said Hominick. “It reminds me of the old Mike Tyson: everybody was already afraid before the bell rang.”
That said, Hominick is confident that Edgar knows exactly what kind of adversary he’ll be facing Saturday.
“Edgar has won against the odds many times, and he’s definitely the right type of fighter – with not just the skillset, but also the mentality – to face Aldo.”
So does Hominick think Edgar can accomplish what he himself could not – defeat the mighty Aldo? Not exactly.
“I think it’s going to very hard to stop Aldo,” said Hominick. “I’m betting with the favorite here – betting on Aldo. I could see him finishing it in the second or third round.”
Hominick then paused for a moment, perhaps remembering his own fifth-round comeback against Aldo, during which he unleashed some last-minute ground-and-pound against a clearly exhausted opponent and nearly turned the tide of the fight.
“You never know,” Hominick continued. “Frankie is one of those guys who has been counted out before and come out on top, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Edgar takes a decision win.”