UFC 205

When the UFC heads to Madison Square Garden for the promotion's inaugural event in New York City, two top-ten featherweight contenders in Frankie Edgar and Jeremy Stephens will fight on the undercard of UFC 205. This fight card is stacked from top to bottom, and this writer is stoked that this particular fight will take place on the free portion of the card. As a build-up to the event, let us examine the methods of each fighter and some possible strategies that each might bring into the octagon.

Frankie Edgar

Frankie Edgar's last trip to the octagon occurred at the historic UFC 200 where he was bested by Jose Aldo in a match-up for the interim-featherweight title.

Seeing how Edgar returns after a loss will be a keen point of interest in this fight with Stephens. Edgar normally conducts his fights with a strategy that allows him to box into his takedown attempts. He will often circle his opponent while working into range in order to open up with a combination and quickly move out again before his foe can return with strikes of his own. Edgar is known for setting a high pace, and this high pace coupled with his constant movement is a great set-up for a takedown attempt. One of Edgar's favorite methods is to enter with a double jab into a takedown. He will also utilize feints frequently by feinting with his strikes to set-up a takedown or feinting with takedown to set-up his strikes.

Jeremy Stephens

Jeremy Stephens is known for being a grinder. Despite being the teammate of bantamweight champion and technical wizard Dominick Cruz, Stephens has yet to show extreme technical prowess. However, he does posses tremendous power and cardio. The threat of a knockout is always present in a fight with Stephens as he often throws his hands with abandon.

In doing so, however, he has a tendency to over-extend and compromise his base. This is a habit that can bring heavy power to a fighter's strikes, as demonstrated by Stephens' many career knockouts, but can also leave a fighter defensively weak by leaving him off-balance.

UFC 205 predicted strategies

Neither fighter should have a problem tiring in this bout. They are both cardio machines. I expect Edgar to use his movement and feinting to draw Stephens into a heavy counter. By doing this, Edgar will hope to put Stephens off-balance, thus compromising his base. Working off of this, Edgar will then have an opening to return with either strikes or a takedown. I would like to see Stephens, on the other hand, turn the bout into a dogfight. If he can use his looping hooks to cut Edgar off, Stephens will be able to push the fight to the cage and force the infight. This should be an exciting match-up on the UFC 205 undercard and one that I greatly anticipate.

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