UFC 142: What a Loss Would Mean to Jose Aldo's Legacy

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2012

Jose Aldo has been the best featherweight fighter in the world for so long that the idea of someone dethroning him seems practically far-fetched.

However, no one can stay on top forever and Aldo has arguably the sternest test of his career in front of him at UFC 142, Chad Mendes.

Mendes is a Team Alpha Male protege and is undefeated, sporting a spotless record of 11-0.

Anything can happen in mixed martial arts and, as such, we may see a new UFC featherweight champion crowned at UFC 142.

So, what would a loss to Chad Mendes mean for Jose Aldo's legacy?

Truthfully, even with a loss at UFC 142, Aldo's legacy is relatively safe.

At this point in his career, Aldo has already cemented himself as one of the best mixed martial artists of all-time and one loss will not change that.

We have seen countless legends of the sport fade toward the ends of their careers, some of them losing embarrassingly, and still they are held in the highest of regards.

If Aldo loses, he will still be an all-time great, and will likely continue to build an even greater legacy, despite the setback.

However, it is worth noting that a victory tonight could earn Aldo the reputation as the greatest featherweight of all-time.

Right now, Aldo is tied with Urijah Faber for the most defenses of the featherweight championship. A win tonight would give Aldo his sixth straight title defense, making him, indisputably, the most successful featherweight the sport has seen.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.