UFC 162: July 6, 2013 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Featherweight Contender Frankie Edgar (-280) Profile: The closest fighter the UFC has to Rocky Balboa, Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (15-4-1) has surprised everyone with his never-say-die attitude and come-from-behind guttiness that has led him to victories over B.J. Penn (twice) and his arch-nemesis Gray Maynard. Winner of six Fight of the Night awards, Edgar comes out of Renzo Gracie’s East Coast fight team with a chip on his shoulder and a Jersey attitude that have turned him into one of the most impressive UFC champions since Jens Pulver. Opponents can never count Edgar out, and the 31-year-old former lightweight champ has fought for the 155-pound strap six times and the featherweight title once. Edgar is now desperately looking to end a three-fight losing streak after falling to featherweight champ Jose Aldo at UFC 156, and he will try to earn his first victory at 145 when he takes on Charles Oliveira at UFC 162. UFC Featherweight Contender Charles Oliveira (+200) Profile: Charles Oliveira (16-3, 1 No-Contest) may only be 23 years old, but the hard-hitter from Sao Paulo is a grizzled vet by MMA standards. He has already participated in 20 bouts and flaunts a solid and surprisingly well-rounded skill set for someone his age. He is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and routinely wins via submission (three-time Submission of the Night winner), but he has power in his fists and legs to spare. He is 4-3 in the UFC, with a submission win overturned to a NC after striking Nik Lentz with an illegal knee. Oliveira also recently missed weight prior to his bout against Cub Swanson and went on to lose via first-round knockout. The scariest part about Oliveira is that he is still learning and nowhere near his prime yet, but he needs to be more focused to realize his potential.
Opening UFC 162 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Edgar a solid -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) while Oliveira opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. It’s hard to call Edgar a “desperate” fighter right now, but that might be the best word to describe this point of his career. After participating in seven consecutive title fights in the UFC, Edgar needs a win in the worst way and will face another difficult matchup in Oliveira, who is one of the bigger featherweights and stands four inches taller than him. Once considered one of the top MMA prospects in Brazil, Oliveira has lacked focus at times, falling victim to knockouts by Swanson and Donald Cerrone in two of his last four bouts. In fact, he has not seen one of his fights go to the judges since earning a split-decision victory back in 2009, with his last 10 bouts all ending with stoppages. Of Edgar’s last 12 fights, 10 have been decided by the judges, so he will likely take a completely different approach here and use his vast championship experience to his advantage. If Edgar is properly motivated for this bout, he should have no problem winning a decision since he has never been stopped by an opponent. However, Oliveira is a dangerous foe and can pull off the upset if Edgar fights down to the level of his competition.