Counting his WEC defenses, the win moved his defense total to eight. He cruised to a unanimous-decision win (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) by picking apart Ricardo Lamas on the feet. Aldo's stellar striking was on display once again, but he was unable to get the finish.
What is most impressive is that this latest win means he has vanquished the top five challengers in the featherweight division—one of the most stacked divisions in the organization.
That begs the question—what's next? Here are three potential fights for UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
If Aldo chooses to stay at 145, then Mendes is the top choice.
In their first meeting, Mendes was knocked out but only after performing well. He moved in to take Aldo down, but the champ had grabbed the fence to stay upright. It wasn't long after that Mendes ate a knee to the face, but if he had taken Aldo down, who knows what would have transpired.
Since that time he has racked up five wins with four knockouts. He has improved his striking, and he is poised to take another crack at the longtime champion of the featherweight division.
There is no more deserving challenger in the division, and the UFC will be hard-pressed not to put him in against Aldo next.
Swanson met Aldo in the WEC in 2009. The fight only lasted eight seconds. Aldo immediately connected with a flying knee, and that was all she wrote for Swanson.
That was also the last time Aldo was in a non-title bout, and after five years, it may be time for a rematch.
Swanson is 7-2 since then and is riding a five-fight win streak with four TKO/KO finishes. That puts him in line for a potential title shot. Unfortunately for him, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar are ranked ahead of him.
Timing will be what gives Swanson his first crack at gold. Edgar is in line for a bout against BJ Penn after coaching The Ultimate Fighter, and thus he is likely not getting the next shot at gold. Swanson just has to wait for Mendes, but if Aldo goes up to lightweight, then we could get a Swanson vs. Mendes title tilt.
This fight looks to be on the horizon, as Aldo may be jumping up to the lightweight division.
He has cleared out the featherweight division, and this bout was originally set for 145 in 2013. Now, Pettis is the UFC lightweight champion. At the UFC 169 post-fight press conference, all parties involved seemed to be into the idea of Aldo challenging for lightweight gold, according to Damon Martin of Fox Sports.
He will leapfrog contenders such as Gilbert Melendez, but ultimately this is the title fight that folks want to see. It was an anticipated featherweight bout but will be an even more highly anticipated lightweight title fight.
When Pettis returns to action, this is the fight to make: Pettis vs. Aldo for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
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