Aldo vs. Pettis: Let the Division Log Jams Begin
It's super fight city and MMA fans are all mayor elect, as result of the next super fight announcement of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo taking on Anthony "Showtime" Pettis on August 3rd.
UFC president Dana White received a text message from Pettis asking for Aldo on Saturday night, and it took less than three days to green light it. While the announcement of this next super fight comes on the heels of the last one and will certainly stoke the fire of MMA fans, how will this have an effect on both the featherweight and lightweight divisions?
Title fights are coming and so is Christmas
While we know Gilbert Melendez will be fighting Benson Henderson for the lightweight title on the April 27th UFC on FOX 7 card, we don't know now who will face the winner.
It could potentially still be Pettis, who was set to face the winner of the lightweight title fight prior to Tuesday's fight announcement between himself and Aldo. If it is him, that would mean at least December or January for the next lightweight title fight.
Aldo and Pettis is happening in August, so it would obviously be the time frame for the next featherweight title fight as well, barring any setbacks due to injury, of course.
Pound for Pound/ Pound for Ten Pounds
Never mind calling out opponents for title fights in the style of Chael Sonnen, just cutting ten pounds to another division gets you to the front of the line. Are we seeing the new en vogue trend of MMA? First Florian, then Edgar and now Pettis will drop down to feather weight to get a crack at Aldo.
With only ten pounds separating light from feather and feather from bantam, I suppose it's entirely possible this trend will increase and continue.
Who will fight the winner of Henderson vs Melendez?
He stole my shot!!!
It comes as no surprise that Ricardo Lamas is upset about being passed over for a potential title shot vs Aldo, but let's face facts here—Pettis vs. Aldo is a huge draw and Lamas is still a relative unknown to many outside of hardcore followers and media.
The featherweights will now have ample time to make a case for who will be the next number one contender. The current top 3 (according to the new UFC rankings) are Chad Mendes in the top spot, followed by Ricardo Lamas and Chang Sung-Jung.
As far as the lightweights go, they have less time, and maybe more opportunity now that Pettis is set to fight at featherweight in August. After Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez fight for the lightweight strap at the end of April, a new No. 1 contender could emerge.
The current top 3 according to the UFC rankings are Gilbert Melendez at No. 1, followed by Anthony Pettis and Gray Maynard. I would suspect that even thought Pettis has stated he still wants to fight for the 155 crown, there will be another title fight at 155 after Henderson vs Melendez before he gets a crack.
Smoke and Mirrors
The new ranking system bears no meaning because match ups will still ultimately come down to Dana White and Joe Silva.
What they will do—and have already done—is create debate and give the media and fans new titles to add to fighters other than their original nicknames. Like it or not, more fighters are going to be passed over, more super fights are going to happen and more fighters are going to yo-yo between weight classes.
As far as the rankings go—I can already hear Bruce Buffer say: "In this corner the number No. 2 ranked featherweight in the world..."
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