UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo successfully defended his belt against Chan Sung Jung last night at UFC 163, extending his impressive winning streak to 16. Although it wasn’t a typical Aldo finish, with both Jung and himself ending up hurt, the champion did still display some great wrestling skill.
And while there may be a couple of worthy contenders left at featherweight in Cub Swanson and Ricardo Lamas, Aldo has long been teased to eventually make a move up to lightweight. He’s beaten top-level fighters Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, and Jung in his last three fights, respectively, and may soon need a new challenge.
That’s a challenge he’s willing to take:
“I don't know. I would love it, but it's up to Joe Silva. But, if I was given the opportunity, I would go there and fight.”
Aldo is a game champion who fights anyone the UFC brass puts in front of him, but much has also been made about his brutal weight cuts down to 145 lbs. The extra ten pounds could allow a lot of leeway for fans to see an Aldo that wasn’t drained, making him potentially stronger.
That’s a scary thing for any fighter at featherweight or lightweight. Aldo’s original UFC 163 opponent Anthony Pettis will square off against 155 lb. champion Ben Henderson at UFC 164. The winner of that elite bout may find himself fighting Aldo in his next bout.
No matter if it were Henderson or Pettis, those fights would be amazing stuff worthy of the super fight moniker. It’s very exciting to consider that Aldo can actually be much sharper than we’ve seen him, and Pettis is arguably the most dynamic striker in all of MMA. Henderson might provide a bout with less fireworks for Aldo, but a solid matchup nonetheless.
There are still some great contenders left for "Junior" in his current division, but they may end up fighting each other for the belt. Who do you think Aldo should face next?