Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis promises to be one of the best fights we will see this year, and with good reason. These two fighters have some of the most explosive, dynamic and devastating stand up skills in all of MMA. Aldo holds an impressive 13 KO's in 22 wins, while Pettis has seven KO's in 16 victories. I'm not going to try and tell you which one is better in the stand up, because they are both at the top of the list of strikers in my opinion. What I will do is try to break down their styles.
Jose Aldo has some extremely devastating knockout power in all his limbs. He has some of the nastiest low kicks in the game, as well as some serious boxing. His Muay Thai is some of the best I've seen in MMA, just look at his flying double-knee KO of Cub Swanson in WEC. Pettis has a very intriguing blend of Taekwondo and Muay Thai, one might call it Muaykwondo, meaning he has the savage power in his kicks but he also mixes it with flashy accurate moves such as his infamous 'Showtime' kick that he used to take the LW crown from Bendo at WEC 53.
Aldo scored an impressive eight-fight win streak in the WEC, knocking out six opponents in a row before earning a decision win over Urijah Faber and then knocking out Manvil Gamburyan. Pettis is currently on a three-fight win streak under the UFC after winning a decision over Jeremy Stephens, head kicking Joe Lauzon into oblivion, and most recently he gave Donald Cerrone the works with a Bas Rutten style liver kick.
Who's style will work better when put head to head? Honestly, I think it will come down to who has the more effective game plan and strategy. Either one could finish the other if given the opportunity, but to get to that point they are both going to have to work hard for it. If Aldo can neutralize Pettis' wild kicks with leg kicks of his own, it will be a long night for 'Showtime', but if Pettis is able to overcome Aldo's crisp boxing, speed, and kicking offense, then he may have the key to victory, or even a finish.
If 'Showtime' can keep the power he has at Lightweight then he might be able to impose his will, but opposite him is a man who could probably knock out most Welterweights in the cage. On paper this fight is extremely close, but luckily these guys aren't fighting on paper, they are fighting in the UFC for the Featherweight title. I will save my pre-fight prediction for closer to the time, but rest assured that if Aldo vs. Pettis doesn't get FOTN I will eat my hat.