UFC 169 is just a few days away, and the event features two title fights. Unfortunately, one of those fights is not getting the promotion or love it deserves.
UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will defend his title for the eighth time, adding in his WEC defenses. The challenger? No. 2-ranked Ricardo Lamas.
Lamas is 4-0 in the UFC with four quality wins. Matt Grice, Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch make up his list of defeated UFC fighters. Three of the four wins came by way of stoppage.
Lamas is a legitimate contender for the title, so why is his bid for the gold not getting the hype it deserves?
He is not the most charismatic fighter on the roster and has chosen not to be as visible as he could be. That makes it more difficult for the UFC to use him in promotional aspects because the UFC fanbase does not know him that well.
The other factor is Aldo’s dominance.
Many fans immediately discredit featherweight opposition going up against Aldo. In his long reign as the top featherweight in the world, he has disposed of top fighter after top fighter. In his eight title fights, he has fought eight different foes. Lamas will be the ninth.
With the lack of competitive bouts, fans discredit whomever stands opposite him.
According to MMAPayout.com, the last time Aldo headlined a pay-per-view, the buyrate was under 200,000. There is little question as to why this title fight between Aldo and a largely unknown challenger has been relegated to the co-main event slot. That is even with a main event that we have seen before, which was largely one-sided.
What fans and management need to realize is that Lamas is a real threat to the featherweight throne.
He brings in a well-rounded skill set that gives him opportunities to challenge Aldo no matter where the fight takes place. He is a competent striker with big power, a quality submission game and a very good wrestling background. He will be able to push Aldo in this fight.
The UFC should be using the lead-up to this fight to raise Lamas’ profile. The UFC 169 TV spot does little to enhance Lamas or Aldo. It is thrown in as an afterthought.
Without a clear focus on this fight, the fans will not care about it. There is a distinct level of apathy from the fans for this fight. That is a travesty.
The combination of Aldo’s dominance, Lamas’ lack of charisma and the UFC’s lack of promotion for this fight does little to help UFC 169, the fighters or the organization in the long term. These are two elite fighters who deserve more.
If UFC Fight Pass was utilized properly, the UFC could use that platform to push Lamas’ past performances. It would showcase him and show the fans that this is a man who can walk out of UFC 169 with the featherweight title.
This should be the most talked-about fight on the UFC 169 card, but it is not. It is being overlooked by just about everyone.
Aldo vs. Lamas is by far the most intriguing bout on the UFC 169 lineup. It is a shame it is not getting the push it deserves.