UFC President Dana White confirmed a Featherweight title defense for champion Jose Aldo, as he takes on challenger Anthony Pettis on August 3rd at a venue to be determined. For Aldo, it will be his second defense against a stand out fighter from the weight class above him, as we last saw him winning a Unanimous Decision against Frankie Edgar. Pettis raised his stock in his last outing as well, making short work of rival Donald Cerrone.
White talked about getting a text from Pettis at the press conference post UFC 156, where Aldo defeated Edgar. Four short days later, the fight is signed so clearly it was a popular choice and the UFC ran with it.
Aldo has been dominant at 145 lbs, and in his last outing, he was able to outclass a former champion from the Lightweight division. He is in top pound for pound territory and there was already talk of him moving up in weight class to Lightweight for ‘superfight’ type fights. The class of the Featherweights appears to be Chad Mendes under Aldo, but only mendes is asking for that rematch, no one really wants to see that. So Pettis solves an elementary problem for the UFC quickly – Aldo will defend in August.
It also prevents Aldo from migrating out of a weight class that is still developing, so it is a best case scenario that Pettis comes down to meet Aldo.
In the case of Edgar, the drop in weight classes had been talked about for several years now, however that has not been the case for Pettis, who has been a rising star at in the lightweight division. In the matchup with Aldo, Pettis will be taller and lankier than Aldo, something that Edgar was not.
Pettis is also a dynamic striker similar to Aldo, and a lot will depend on how well Pettis does with the weight cut. That factor, and the respect that a dominant champion like Aldo demands will see Aldo likely open up as the favorite when the lines hits the sportsbook.
Pettis is a threat to Aldo over the course of a five round match. Aldo has tired in long fights, and he has never been pressured by a bigger guy in his title reign. If Pettis cuts the weight right, he could conceivably win a battle of attrition and beat Aldo at his own game.