Where does Jose Aldo belong on the P4P list?Posted on January 15, 2012, 02:24 PM by Daniel Cassidy
A few days prior to last night's UFC 142 in Rio de Janero, UFC president Dana White had stated how he hoped to see a return of the "old, WEC style" Jose Aldo "Junior". Judging by his comments at the post fight presser, White could not have seemed happier with last night's fights, and his reigning Featherweight Champion.
Facing the toughest challenge of his career, Aldo stood opposite Team Alpha Male standout out Chad "Money" Mendes in his homeland last night and emerged victorious, in devestating fashion. It was clear from the offset that Aldo's wrestling game had improved. Aldo stopped 3 of the NCAA standout's initial takedown attempts, and proved his training with Gray Maynard was paying off. With a minute left in the round, Mendes seemed in control, pinning Aldo to the cage, while controlling his back. Mendes delivered several powerful knees, and was close to stealing the round until Aldo turned things around with the clock running out. With less than ten seconds, Aldo broke his opponents grip, turning and delivering a highlight reel KO knee direct to the temple of Mendes. Three follow up punches in the dying seconds of the round saw Aldo leap from the cage and into the adoring crowd, retaining his Featherweight title in the process.
Currently ranked on Lowkick's Pound for Pound list at number 5, the first ever UFC Featherweight Champ looked very near unbeatable last night, frustrating his opponent by stuffing his shots, all the while delivering punishing leg kick after leg kick, clearly hurting Mendes. Finishing the fight so suddenly and vicious, Aldo will surely have silenced so many of those who doubted him following two lack lustre decision wins. Extending his winning streak to 14 consecutive fights, Aldo is undeafeated under the Zuffa banner. With current Pound for Pound top two Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre currently on the shelf for the forseeable future, it is hard to argue against putting Aldo into the top three following last nights win.
With an impressive striking and speed, coupled with his BJJ skills and takedown defence, many have long since been sold on Aldo's position in the top fve, myself included. With GSP on the decision streak to end all decision streaks, as the French Canadian seems less likely with each passing fight to put his opponent away, fans will look towards someone like Aldo (flashy striking, power, highlight reel Knockouts) to replace him as number two or three. With Jon Jones arguably having the best year of any Lightheavy weight to grace The Octagon, it is impossible to deny Jones the top spot or indeed second behind Anderson Silva. In my eyes at least, Jose Aldo sits firmly at number Three, with GSP in fourth and Frankie Edgar 5th.
At just 25 years old, "Junior" has the world at his feet. Currently the poster boy in a very stacked division, how far Aldo can go is anyones guess at this stage. With a near perfect 21-1 record, Aldo looks likely to dominate the 145 pound Feathweight division until he decides to make the move to 155, and then really cements his legacy as one of the greatest of all time.
Further Reading: UFC 142 Wrap-Up: Barboza gets $130k, Palhares & Etim take home $65k