"He was just kind of playing smarter than me" - Frankie Edgar dissects decision loss to Jose Aldo

The former lightweight champion now prepares to face Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205 in New York City this Saturday

Jose Aldo

Image: John Locher AP/Press Association Images

Frankie Edgar admits Jose Aldo fought the smarter fight during his interim featherweight title bout at UFC 200 last July.

The former lightweight champion missed his chance to claim the interim 145lbs strap, with the Brazilian triumphing via unanimous decision.

The 35-year-old now prepares for a crunch featherweight bout with Jeremy Stephens at UFC 205, knowing a second consecutive defeat - this time to the number seven ranked fighter rather than the number one - could see him tumble down the rankings.

Speaking to Fox Sportsthe New York native dissected what went wrong for him at the UFC's landmark card in Las Vegas.

"I just didn't make the proper adjustments," he explained. "Everything we worked on in camp, I thought I did well. I came forward, I brought pressure, I avoided the jab, I avoided the leg kicks, but he was just kind of playing smarter than me.

"That's how I'll say it. I was there kind of looking to throw, looking to fight and he was looking to move and avoid me.

"I feel like I should have recognized that and I didn't. I was kind of stuck on what we worked on in camp, which isn't a bad thing, but sometimes you have to make those adjustments in the middle of the fight and I feel that's something I do really well. So I'm disappointed that I was a little stubborn in this fight and didn't change my attack."

Jose Aldo, left, and Frankie Edgar trade blows during their interim featherweight championship  bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

He now looks ahead to the UFC's inaugural event at Madison Square Garden with a renewed focus in place for the final days of his preparation. 

"This is what I've been thinking about ever since July 9, the night of my fight when I lost. I just want to go in there and erase everything. The best way to erase a loss is to go back in there and have a good fight and getting your hand raised. That's my goal.

"I don't think I'll ever erase the loss completely. I remember the losses more than the wins, but a win on November 12 will definitely make it sting a lot less."