And the injuries keep on happening to main event fighters. This time, Erik Koch had to withdraw from his scheduled UFC 153 bout with Jose Aldo. But unlike UFC 151 where the champ declined a fight with a potential challenger, 153 is still arguably even more in tact as Frankie Edgar will be dropping down to fight Aldo.
News of the injury and replacement was first reported by USA Today and MMAJunkie. Koch’s injury has not been disclosed.
Edgar has long been asked about dropping down to the featherweight division, even while he was having a very successful run at lightweight. He holds notable wins over Gray Maynard, BJ Penn, Sean Sherk, and Jim Miller. Even his back-to-back losses to Ben Henderson were close fought battles, but it was enough to have the former champ think seriously about dropping to featherweight.
Many thought he would have to fight a challenger before getting a shot at Jose Aldo, but Aldo has been vocal enough about the potential fight that none was needed in this case. While Edgar was lightweight champ, many fans wanted this super fight, but Aldo repeatedly stated that Edgar would have to drop down to his weight and it wouldn’t be fought at 155lbs.
Aldo is one of the most dominant champions under the Zuffa banner. He entered the WEC with a 10-1 record and quickly rose to fan fame with five knockout victories. The five knockouts earned him a shot at the title and like his previous fights, Aldo knocked out the champ. He then battled for twenty five minutes with Urijah Faber and followed that up with another knockout victory over Manny Gamburyan.
After those eight fights, the WEC was merged with the UFC and Aldo went back to work. He compiled back to back decision victories over Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, the former earning him fight of the night honors. Just when fighters thought they found chinks in Aldo’s defense, he knocked Chad Mendes out with just one second remaining in the first round, reminding everyone how dangerous he is.
UFC 153 takes place on Saturday, October 13 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.
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