UFC 169 went down Saturday in Newark, N.J. In the co-main event of the evening, Jose Aldo further cemented his status as one of the very best fighters on planet Earth with a five-round domination of Ricardo Lamas to retain the UFC featherweight championship.
Aldo was his usual, deadly efficient and deadly effective self in taking apart Lamas over 25 minutes. Aldo landed leg kicks from range early that tenderized Lamas. As the fight wore on, Aldo began opening up, landing hard combinations that further hobbled the challenger.
Lamas, a wrestler and ground-and-pound artist by nature, was unable to land a takedown against Aldo, who probably has the best takedown defense in MMA. Except for some ground strikes in the final minute of the fight, Lamas never held a clear advantage in any phase.
The final scorecards gave Aldo the decision, 49-46, 49-46 and 49-46.
The 27-year-old Aldo (24-1) has now defeated 17 consecutive foes and has defended the UFC strap in all six of his attempts. Aldo also was the defending WEC featherweight belt holder when that promotion folded and merged with the UFC. (That was also when the UFC created its featherweight division, of which Aldo was the inaugural champion.) In his last four fights, he has handily defeated Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar, Chan Sung Jung and now Lamas. As such, there is an easy case to make that he has "cleaned out" the division and may be ready for a new challenge.
After the fight, UFC PR official Dave Sholler may have summed up a lot of feelings with this tweet:
The best fighter in the history of the lighter weight classes. Aldo is on a Hall of Fame-worthy run.— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) February 2, 2014
A tangle between lightweight champ Anthony Pettis and Aldo would surely generate major buzz in and around the MMA community.
The defeat at UFC 169 was the first for Lamas (13-3) as a featherweight. The 31-year-old had won his previous four in that division after dropping down from lightweight.