"You can only really judge yourself in comparison to other people. How bad you are, but you're not as bad as someone else. So it's degrees of losing." - John Cusack
Coming out of Frankie Edgar's performance Saturday against Jose Aldo at UFC 156, my first thought was: 'that's gotta be the farthest anyone has pushed Aldo. That has to be the best performance of any Zuffa featherweight challenger to date.' I thought the fight was close, but more so I just thought the attack that Edgar put on display was beyond laudable, and something Edgar fans have pretty much come to expect every time he competes. My curiosity lead to some research, so here are the numbers:
All data is sourced from FightMetric and Sherdog's Fight Finder, and the fights under question include all title fights including Jose Aldo under Zuffa organization (WEC and UFC).
Mike Brown: 35% striking with 56 total strike attempts. 0-4 on Takedowns. (Aldo 52% Striking)
Urijah Faber: 18% striking with 119 total strike attempts. 0-9 on Takedowns. (Aldo 75% Striking)
Manny Gamburyan: 27% Striking with 30 total strike attempts. 0-3 on Takedowns. (Aldo 69% Striking)
Mark Hominick: 39% Striking with 274 total strike attempts. 1-2 on Takedowns (plus 1 guard pass) (Aldo 44% Striking)
Kenny Florian: 31% Striking with 165 total strike attempts. 1-19 on Takedowns (Aldo 44% Striking)
Chad Mendes: 57% Striking with 28 total strike attempts. 0-7 on Takedowns (Aldo 48% Striking)
Frankie Edgar: 22% Striking with 275 total strike attempts. 2-11 on Takedowns (1 being a slam) (Aldo 30% Striking)
The numbers tell me that this has been a pretty solid title run, but they also really clearly show that Frankie Edgar had by far the best performance out of all the challengers. Edgar is hard to hit and (so far) impossible to finish - and this is made obvious yet again looking at Aldo's offensive number - 30%. He was in the cage the exact same amount of time against Urijah Faber as he was with Edgar and had more than double the success rate with his strikes then - that's amazing.
I'm not one for predictions, so I won't try to plan out the divisions (besides, there are other Elbowers who can do that way better than I - See: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/2/3/3948232/ufc-156-results-fights-aldo-overeem-edgar and http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/2/3/3946840/the-case-against-aldo-vs-pettis )
Aldo vs Faber - 25 to 0
Aldo vs Hominick - 18 to 1
Aldo vs Florian - 8 to 7
Aldo vs Edgar - 9 to 12