There was a moment, roughly halfway through Jose Aldo's thoroughly brilliant and yet somehow uninspiring victory over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169, when the longtime featherweight kingpin's murky future suddenly became quite clear.
It has been years since Aldo was properly challenged. Against Lamas, as it has been against so many others, Aldo was effortless. He was facing one of the best fighters his division had to offer, and he barely needed to break a sweat.
He kept perfect distance. He feinted. He checked leg kicks, and then unleashed thudding, groan-inducing leg kicks of his own. He left Lamas flailing with roundhouse kicks that never had any chance of landing.
Aldo is perfection in the cage. There is no more technical and precise fighter, no fighter more capable of making very good challengers appear as rank amateurs. He is always just out of reach, and his reactionary timing is sublime. Go back to Saturday night and watch him dodge repeated jab and leg-kick attempts from Lamas. It is a subtle and natural thing of beauty.