The UFC 169, scheduled for Vegas on Super Bowl weekend has announced a main event featuring Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo defending his title against Ricardo Lamas. Lamas, who has been lobbying for this fight for a long time, is riding a four fight winning streak, but he is up against Aldo, who is chasing Jon Jones down in the pound for pound listings. Look for Aldo to be a big favorite when the lines come out at the sportbooks.
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How can he not be? Since taking the WEC Featherweight title from Urijah Faber back in April of 2010 Aldo has been unstoppable. He has done it against tough competition as well, taking out former 155 lb contender Kenny Florian, and former 155 lb Champion Frankie Edgar. He wiped out Chad Mendes, who is clearly the number 2 guy in the weight class behind Aldo.
To draw some boxing comparisons, Lamas is a kind of ‘mandatory’ defense for Aldo. Lamas has done enough with 4 wins to be in the running for a title shot, and he beat Cub Swanson and Hatsu Hioki in his run, but Lamas is hardly the biggest challenge available to put in front of Aldo. Aldo was calling for a match with Pettis, now that Pettis is 155 lb Lightweight Champion, but Pettis is booked. Aldo could be looking at Mendes or the winner of the Frankie Edgar vs BJ Penn bout for his next fight, so Lamas is fortunate to fit into Aldo’s schedule now. If there was something else the UFC could do, they would likely have booked it and made Lamas wait, like they have in the past.
Aldo is an all time great at this pioint, and he has a chance at leaving a legacy. Joe Louis, the lauded boxing heavyweight champion who kept the belt longer than anyone and defended it over 20 times get accused of fighting lesser competition, labeling a lot of his streak ‘The Bum of the Month’. Unless Aldo blows it, Lamas will be looked back on as one of Aldo’s bums.