Breaking Down The Stand Up: Aldo vs. Pettis


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.

  • Aldo has been training extensively with Gray Maynard in wrestling, and I think that if he's smart, he will try to use that knowledge and grind Showtime out like Clay Guida did. No reason to play to Pettis' strengths even if Aldo's striking is top-of-the-world class.
    If that happens, this fight definitely might not earn FOTN.

    • I see your point but let's not forget Pettis has been training extensively with Ben Askren in Wrestling and by the way he's been evolving as a fighter (which he started showcasing when he outwrestled Stephens 1.5 year ago) He picks up really fast and his wrestling must have improved a LOT, he just didn't get the opportunity to show more of it since he's been knocking everyone out left and right since Stephens.

    • No way. It is crazy to think that Aldo will start wrestle in the fight. Stand up war alll night!

  • I got Showtime taking this, probably by KO/TKO. Not saying Aldo "cant" win, it's just most likely he won't. Showtime has a speed advantage and a little more diverse striking ability. I see Pettis coming at Aldo from an angle he does not suspect. On the other hand Pettis is harder to surprise due his Taekwondo background he is used to strikes coming from unexpected angles. It's pretty much a question of who starts landing hard shots first and i think that'll be Pettis!

    • I concur with your pick. I have Pettis, especially if Aldo doesn't finish him before the end of the 3rd round. Aldo was pretty gassed vs. Edgar & Hominick, and neither of those fighters have the power of "Showtime". I think Pettis will have just as much power, but more awkward angle kicks & punches, than Aldo. Pettis is one bad moe foe. I know aldo is, but Aldo lacks cardio, which is HUGE in fighting, especially when your opponent has better cardio than you, but has just as much power & tricks up his sleeve. I can see PEttis beating Aldo, then beating Ben Henderson, especially if Henderson fights like he did vs. Gilbert.

      Though, I wouldn't be surprised if Aldo won by any means, but I just think Pettis matches up power, strikes, kicks & skill wise, but he has the Cardio, something that has been Aldo's achilles for yrs, due to his massive weight cut. Pettis by TKO in the 4th or 5th. Not sure if Aldo can take a punch to the chin, so I'm going to give him credit & say he can, but only until his cardio holds up.

  • This is a hard one to pick. Both guys have got devastating leg kicks. We saw how Pettis dropped cerrone.. I'm just glad this will be a five rounder. I'd give the edge to Aldo being the champ, as mike pointed out also, aldo may have the edge with wrestling.

    • the fact that it's a 5 rounder gives the edge to Pettis I'd say… IF it goes that long. Aldo hasn't had a finish other than Mendes in a decent time so I'm leaning a little closer to picking Pettis. I've been back and forth on this literally by the minute. They're both amazing strikers, I expect to see an easy FOTN winner here. I'm a big fan of both fighters but I'd like to see Aldo win so he gets the shot at Bendo next and see what he can do without having to cut as much weight, where I think he belongs at this point in his career. The weight cut I think has been taking to much out of Aldo

  • This is the most exciting and perhaps the highest level striking match-up within the lower weight classes from any fighters in the sport, perhaps any weight class.

    Aldo has an absolute perfect technical Muay Thai game and incorporates finishing power through all of his strikes.
    Pettis has the most unpredictable striking in MMA, if not, right up there. Every has seen his highlight reel kicks, truly something from hollywood but he manages to use it against world class fighters. HIs kicks are lethal but his punches aren't as great as his kicks.

    I think P4P Aldo's striking technique and instincts would overcome Pett's unpredictability but since this is not P4P and is a real fight, Pettis's size and power might come in to play. The power of the headkicks he throws is crazy, if he catches you it is over.

    I will be taking Aldo but I would not be surprised to see a Pettis kick finish it.

    • Hope Aldo works on his cardio cause showtimes' gonna bring it for sure, will be rooting for Aldo, but a Pettis' win wouldn't surprise me also. Excited for this fight just like the GSP/Diaz fight, but i hope Aldo/Pettis packs MORE action though.

      • I'm sure this fight with Aldo vs. Pettis will be better than GSP vs. Diaz,m b/c both fighters will show up, unlike in the GSP vs. Diaz fight, where GSP was the only one to show up! Should be a hell of a fight, PEttis by KO/TKO in the 4th or 5th. Aldo's cardio is his undoing if he doesnt finish PEttis before the end of the 3rd, he's done in the later rounds, b/c Pettis will have cardio all day & add power, vs. a tired guy = TKO!!! or at least a finish!

    • No one can have perfection in any martial art. Aldo has seemed that way sometimes though. I don't think Aldo's problem with cardio is only due to his weight cut. People always say that but he may just not work as hard as the guys with better cardio. Bendo probably cuts just as much or more weight in proportion to Aldo. And there are many others that are big for their divisions. Unfortunately I do think if Aldo is having trouble on the feet he will look for the takedown. We saw how much he went to the ground against Hominick. I think Pettis will be more difficult to take down than Hominick, and I hope Aldo can't take him down at all because I see Pettis clearly being the better striker. And if he can keep it standing I see him winning in the first 2 or 3 rounds. In round 1 Aldo may be fast enough that he doesn't get caught badly enough. Pettis is just too precise, too intelligent, and too technical. Finishing Cowboy like that was unbelievable and really showed just how good Showtime is. I think time will show he is the Anderson Silva of the 45's and 55's. Maybe better. His style of striking looks different but I think he's just as precise and just as good at adjusting to his opponents striking style, speed, etc.

  • This is the Jon Jones vs Anderson Silva fight on a lighter weight division!
    This 2 are the best of the best on their weight classes, (Bendo will be beat by Pettis again)
    and for sure the top fighters on striking skills in MMA!

    This will be a real super fight, but i have to go with Showtime all the way, he has all the tools, reach , power , size , and unlike most fighter Pettis is not looking to take Aldo down so as good as Aldo's tdd defense is , is just irrelevant since Pettis is looking for the KO , i see Pettis picking Aldo on the stand up and Aldo scoring his shoots of his own , but ultimately Pettis will take the belt, good thing is after that we will go for Bendo and take that belt also and then remaining at LW leaving Aldo the chance to regain his title .

    The only real question here is the cut weight , Pettis look way more light and skinny on his fight with Cerrone, meaning he may be close to 155 making him confident that he can cut to 145 and still be in good shape, but since he has never done it, not even him can know how his body will react, thats the only question and concern about the fight

  • Pettis is one of my favourite fighters up there with Anderson, Aldo is great too but I dont see there being any fight at the moment Pettis is in where Im not cheering for him. His nickname is well earned!

  • I think PEttis has done the weight cut before he asked to fight @ 145lbs, or at least went down to 150lbs, I think he can make 145lbs fairly easy, and still have cardio on his side! Only my opinion!

  • FOTN honors for sure.

  • I really dont understand how come so many people count Aldo out…..this is crazy, just look at past performances and record….Aldo is a monster and will completely destroy Petis.

    • Absolutely NONE of Aldo's past opponents had the the combination of speed, power and more diverse striking ability over Aldo. They all had 1 advantage. Like Frankie with speed, Mendes with Wrestling.. but none had advantages in speed, power, diversity in striking and on top of that a great ground game like Pettis. He also has size over Aldo and if you think Showtime was flashy and fast at lightweight imagine what kind of speed he'll have and how flashy he'll be after he drops down! If Pettis has a good cut.. Aldo is in a world of trouble and to address the "cardio" of Aldo as a few have brought up. I think his lack of cardio is due the weight cut. It's well documented Aldo has a hard time cutting down so much, I think Aldo will be a better version of himself at LW. Personally a dream matchup for me at LW would be ALDO VS GILBERT i would love to see that…

  • The guy has a recent loss to Guida so it is fair to say he is not that superhuman….and i believe he lost to Bendo.

    • Recent? my friend, that was "2 YEARS" ago when Pettis hardly trained any wrestling… in a fight where he did more damage from his back to Guida, than Guida did to him laying on top of him for the majority of the fight. If that fight ever happens again (which is not likely) Guida won't make it out of the first 2 minutes. It was a good wake up call and he's been training his wrestling with Ben Askren ever since.