The Co-Main event of the evening is next up in our UFC 162 fight previews. This bout features Frankie Edgar fighting in a non-title contest, something that will have to feel new to the perennial number one contender. Both men are former lightweights, making it interesting to see how they compete against one another having both made the same weight cut.
Edgar looks to have a size that fits the norm within their new division, however Oliveira’s size could be an advantage if properly utilized.
Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar has fought nothing but top notch competition lately, but has lost all three fights to Jose Aldo and Benson Henderson. He is the favorite going into this fight, but what would happen to his UFC career should he lose? Typically fighters are given their walking papers if they lose three straight fights, and Edgar would be on a four fight skid with a loss. Despite being talented, the UFC would have to think long and hard about their plans for Edgar should he lose.
Frankie Edgar (14-4-1) vs. Charles Oliveira (16-3) Prediction
Betting line- Edgar -550, Oliveira +400
Frankie Edgar is one of the best fighters in the UFC despite having failed to earn a title. I mentioned earlier in the series of previews that UFC 162 is one of the most evenly matched cards the promotion has put on in recent memory, this fight appears to be the only fight that bucks that trend however.
Conditioning won’t be an issue for Edgar, who is relentless throughout his fights. End to end ferocity enables him to tire out his opponents and have his way with them in the later rounds. He has grown accustomed to fighting for 25 minutes, so expect him to ratchet up his intensity even higher given that this bout can only last for 15. He hasn’t fought in a three round fight since 2009.
Although Oliveira has the talent to one day be a contender in the UFC as a featherweight, he is not to that point in his career yet. In this fight he resembles a sacrificial lamb, at least on paper.
The UFC has invested a lot into Frankie Edgar and wants him to end his losing streak in the worst way. In order to get him back to contending for titles he first needs a win. A win enables him to start a streak that could one day result in him competing for a title again, however he has to earn that considering he doesn’t possess the trash talking abilities of Chael Sonnen to find himself in title shots he doesn’t deserve.
Look for this fight to play out exactly as the odds makers predict it to. Frankie Edgar will control this fight throughout, finally snapping his losing streak.
Prediction: Frankie Edgar defeats Charles Oliveira by unanimous decision
Check out our other UFC 162 fight predictions.
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Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express