Anthony Pettis has requested a fight, via text to Dana White, with the UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (via the UFC's official Twitter account). This fight would be an epic blockbuster and truly a classic for fans. As the UFC is slowing leaning towards the boxing model of un-promised super fights, this is a refreshing change.
This was revealed at the UFC 156 press conference by Dana immediately after Aldo cruised past Frankie Edgar in a well orchestrated super-fight between the 155 pound star and the thrilling Brazilian sensation. (The Edgar-Aldo clash was the first meaningful clash between division champs since GSP-Penn 2 at UFC 94.)
Aldo responded to the notion (via Las Vegas Sun) by stating that he thought it would be a great fight and that he respects Pettis but he will allow Dana to make the choice as to whom he should fight—a promising answer by a classy champion that never ducks anybody.
Aldo always delivers sublime performances, as his 22-1 record would indicate, and a test against the uber-skilled Pettis might just bring the best out of him yet.
It is difficult to argue against Aldo as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet. The jiu-jitsu ace is an incredible striker who possesses more than excellent wrestling skills and amazing athletic ability, he is also a dynamic entertainer.
His leg kicks and striking combinations elicit empathetic "oohs" and "aaahhs" from viewers. One recent example of his delightfully engaging style would be when the featherweight champ borrowed a move by his challenger with an awe inspiring superman punch off the fence in his domination over Frankie Edgar.
A clash between the two would not only determine who the better fighter is but will give fans a chance to see who the greater entertainer is. Both make excellent claims to being at the top of that list.
Pettis is a trendsetter is more ways than one. In addition to changing the definition of impossible, he also seeks out challenges, not avoid them. While most No. 1 contenders refuse to fight for fear of losing their title shot, Pettis does not. Pettis could have sat on his title shot earlier but took a dangerous fight against Clay Guida that ultimately set him back in the rankings.
The 19-2 legend who produced the greatest single action manoeuvre in the history of pro sports is not resting on his laurels. After regaining the top-contender spot at 155 pounds, he seeks out an ever-greater challenge at 145 in Aldo than against Henderson, whom Pettis defeated recently. Pitting the elite striking of the Duke Roufus protegee against a killer like Aldo is a guaranteed recipe for thrills.
In fact, a trilogy might even be warranted. Under 185 pounds, it is difficult to suggest any two fighters are more exciting than these two. To see them clash in their prime is exactly what the promotion should be delivering to their dedicated and supportive fans.
The former Strikeforce 155-pound champion is a true fighter. The fact that Anthony would seek to challenge Aldo after the champ has dominated the sport, and even Edgar, speaks volumes to the character of Pettis. The sport needs more athletes like that.
As the other three that compete for the abstract and subjective title of pound-for-pound king (GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones) express absolutely no interest at all in making any blockbuster bouts happen, the sport is in desperate need of courageous men like "Showtime."
With each passing card, a Silva-GSP super-fight seems less meaningful—tantamount to the waning interest in Mayweather-Pacquiao. Pessimism is also setting in that a Jon Jones-Anderson Silva fight will take place while the almost 38-year-old "Spider" is in his prime, if at all.
In lieu of marquee match-ups, fans are being subjected to Bonnar-Silva fights and Sonnen-Jones cards that are curious at best. Actually, a large number of Silva's supposed challengers are no longer in the organization while GSP, Jones and other ex-champions are dismissed as opponents. Athletes like Pettis are a true credit to the sport and are appreciated by the fans.
Arguably, the most exciting fight in 2013, other than Jon Jones-Anderson Silva, would be an Aldo-Pettis fight. All the factors seemed to be perfectly aligned to make this a reality. Thank you, Mr. Pettis.
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