If Frankie Edgar can maintain his speed and stamina after making the cut to featherweight for the first time, he is going to be the most frightening opponent that champion Jose Aldo has ever faced.
That’s the opinion of Brazilian strength and condition coach Andrei Benkei, formerly of American Top Team and now head of his own training centre in Rio de Janeiro after recently returning to Brazil with his family.
Benkei was christened ‘The Wizard of the Scales’ by Brazilian MMA media for his exceptional ability to have athletes cut large amounts of weight safely and with no detriment to their performance. His record is having Gleison Tibau cut 13 kilograms in 24 hours before beating Terry Etim at UFC 75.
Fighters Only spoke to Benkei this week about the decision of former lightweight champion Edgar to drop to featherweight and face the dominant champion Jose Aldo. It is an interesting match of styles, but how will Edgar handle his first cut?
"Well, anything may happen. Edgar has never made this weight in MMA but he weighs 70kg naturally, which does not create much difficultly for him to make 66kg. The other factor is that he comes from wrestling, where this practice of dropping weight is common,” he says.
“Let's see what happens. He can have the strength advantage in this division, but regarding the speed, he will have to work hard to maintain the same level of the performance that he had in the lightweight class because the speed advantage he had at lightweight will no longer happen, and consequently, his game should change a little to explore his physical advantage, chiefly in the clinch.
Read the rest HERE
Follow edwardo @EDUARDOCRUZMMA