Brazilian standout Jose Aldo will be looking to continue his domination of the featherweight division when he squares off against Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169 in New Jersey.
Aldo has made five successful defenses of his title, including most recently a fourth round stoppage of Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163. It’s been a period of inactivity for Aldo since then because of a broken foot that he sustained in that victory. Aldo has shown that he has perhaps the most devastating leg kicks in the game and has established himself as one of the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters with his explosiveness. He has also made successful defenses against Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar.
The champion is riding an impressive 16 fight win streak entering this contest and in 23 career wins, the hard-hitting Aldo has produced 14 knockout victories. The most notable during his Octagon tenure was his first-round stoppage of the dangerous Mendes at UFC 142 in Brazil. Aldo has talked about the possibility of a move up to the lightweight division, and if he’s able to get the job done against Lamas, that would seem to be a sure bet. A key reason for such a move would be to set up a potential SUPERFIGHT against current lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. “Showtime” and Aldo had actually been booked to meet at UFC 163 for the 145-pound strap, but Pettis was forced out due to a knee injury. Both competitors remain keenly interested in facing one another and are currently on the top of their game. It would be one of the most exciting matchups that the promotion could make.
Lamas has looked terrific since a move down to the featherweight ranks, producing a four-fight win streak. His most impressive effort during that stretch was a second round submission victory over fellow top five contender Cub Swanson. Lamas has three stoppages in his last four wins and believes that he will be the one to end Aldo’s impressive title run. Lamas has a solid wrestling background and has shown an improved striking game since moving down from lightweight. He utilized brutal elbows in his last fight at UFC on FOX 6 in a second round dismantling of Erik Koch.
Aldo seemingly has bigger fights in mind than the challenge he faces this coming weekend. He must not let his guard down against the highly-confident and motivated Lamas. If Aldo produces another victory, then the talk of a Pettis fight will generate major steam. If Lamas pulls the upset, he would become the first man to defeat Aldo since 2005. He will need to produce the performance of his career to do that.