(Ah the WEC days: lighter fighters, ghetto haircuts and Featherweight hoedowns)
Jose Aldo will go up against Ricardo Lamas at this Saturday’s UFC 169 co-main event. The stakes are high with the Featherweight title on the line, but even higher for Aldo as it would improve his win streak to six in the UFC and 17 overall. His last nine opponents read like a who’s-who of MMA superstars; Korean Zombie, Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian, Mark Hominick, Manny Gamburyan, Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson and Mike Brown.
Add to this that Aldo is unbeaten since 2005 and is 23-1 overall, then it is no wonder that he currently fills the #2 pound-for-pound spot. A win over the surging Ricardo lamas at UFC 169 could well move ‘Scarface’ to the number one spot. In reality, the argument could be made before 169 for his status as the #1 over current top man Jon Jones.
When you look at the record of ‘Bones’, you see that his last 10 fights have been victories over five non-champs (Gustafsson, Sonnen, Vera, Vladdy and Bader) and then five former champions in Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida, Quinton Jackson and Vitor Belfort. A huge achievement by Jones at such a young age, and likely the main argument for his number one spot.
An argument in favor of Aldo could be that his win streak is longer, he has more victories and the same amount of losses (1), they have both beaten 13 relevant names, Aldo has one more major title defense than Jones and has been active for five years longer than his younger opposite.
When you weigh up all the options, it seems obvious that a win over Lamas would surely secure Aldo the number one P4P spot. Although a less than convincing split decision may have a negative affect on Aldo’s placement after 169. Obviously Aldo has a lot more finishing ability than Benson Henderson, but that doesn’t change the fact that Bendo dropped three places with a win, and so could Aldo potentially.
Assuming that Aldo isn’t subject to the same scrutiny as ‘Smooth’, and wins against ‘The Bully’ on Saturday; I don’t think there would be many arguments about him leapfrogging Jones in the P4P list, apart from (possibly) Dana White. Jones is the UFC’s new poster boy in the absence of Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, and I don’t think that will change after 169 in Newark, New Jersey.