UFC 156 Results: Is There Anyone That Can Beat Featherweight Champ Jose Aldo?
Even though the judges' scorecards gave the champion the decision win by a clear margin, the battle realistically could've been a lot closer.
Despite Aldo pressing the attack and landing some devastating kicks through the first two rounds, Edgar's indomitable spirit willed him back into the fight halfway through, with the former lightweight champion arguably winning the last two rounds.
It was close.
But against Jose Aldo, close simply just isn't enough.
That much was already obvious at UFC 129 in April 2011, as Canadian fighter Mark Hominick nearly upset the Brazilian late into the fifth and final round, blasting a visibly exhausted Aldo with hammerfists and punches from guard before the clock finally ran out.
But with Hominick now retired and Edgar presumably out of the title picture for now, is there anyone left who can actually beat the featherweight kingpin?
Who's next for Jose Aldo?
Although Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg told fans otherwise, there are actually a few contenders left who have as good a shot as any of Aldo's other challengers.
To start, Ricardo Lamas should be the clear front-runner.
In matchmaking terms, the combination of his world ranking and recent win over Erik Koch would logically put Lamas first in line. After all, Koch was scheduled to fight Aldo at UFC 149 until the champion wound up injured (again).
There's also Clay Guida in the mix, although his tepid win against Japanese veteran Hatsu Hioki probably wouldn't set MMA fans' heart on fire.
It's also been a while since Dennis Siver's outright mauling of Nam Phan, but he'll likely need to beat a much higher-profile opponent to get a shot.
Finally, the winner of Dustin Poirier vs. Cub Swanson seems like a definite "No. 1 Contender" bout, as the two will clash at UFC on Fuel 7 on Feb. 16 in London.
But, we have to ask again—can any of these men beat Aldo?
That question is extremely tough to answer, but as long as Aldo stays at 145 pounds, it's at least clear that he still has plenty of contenders left on deck.
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