Jose Aldo justifies elite status, gets unexpected challenge from Anthony Pettis after win (Yahoo! Sports)


LAS VEGAS – Anthony Pettis passed on a shot at the UFC lightweight title before and it turned out disastrous for him. 

He may be on the verge of doing it again, but this time, his idea to pass up a lightweight title shot could result in the most significant fight in UFC featherweight history. 

As champion Jose Aldo broke down his unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar on Saturday in their title bout at UFC 156 before 10,275 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Pettis fired off a quick text message to UFC president Dana White. It read, "I want to go to featherweight to fight Jose Aldo."

It was an extraordinary moment – a young superstar being challenged by a superstar-in-waiting in a match that would pit two of the fastest and most athletic fighters in the UFC against one another.

White said following the news conference that he had yet to respond to Pettis, but social media was abuzz about the possibilities of the fight just seconds after White tossed it out.

The possibility came only moments after a Fight of the Night scrap that clearly painted Aldo as one of the world's four elite fighters.

For the last couple of years, the UFC has had a Big Three of middleweight champion Anderson Silva, light heavyweight champion Jonny "Bones" Jones and welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. It's time, though, to change that to a Big Four.

[More UFC 156: Frankie Edgar loses yet another title fight via close decision]

Aldo belongs shoulder-to-shoulder with that group, as he proved in besting Edgar. Judges Adalaide Byrd and Junichiro Kamijo had it 49-46 for Aldo, while Jeff Collins had it 48-47 for Aldo. Yahoo! Sports scored it 48-47 for Aldo. 

Edgar is an elite talent himself who is as scrappy and hard-nosed as they come. But though the fight was competitive, their faces clearly told the story of their bout. 

Aldo looked like he hadn't even fought, but Edgar's face was bruised and swollen and his left eye was open just a sliver.

Aldo was dominant in the first two rounds, using his speed and quickness to take Edgar apart. He was pinpoint with his jab, cracking Edgar repeatedly with it, and was chopping him down with leg kicks. 

Aldo went away from the kicks in the second half of the fight, and that's when Edgar mounted a rally to make it close and create some drama.

"The plan was to kick him and keep him from moving," Aldo said. "I started to see he was checking my kicks and going for the takedown when I kicked, so I used my hands a little bit more."

That brought Edgar back into the fight. He won the fourth round on all three judges' cards and an argument could have been made that he won the third and the fifth, too.

[Related: 'Big Foot' bullies Alistair Overeem for huge upset win]

He fought gallantly, pushing Aldo to limits he hadn't been pushed before, but in the end, all that Edgar had to show for it was his third consecutive loss.

His old bugaboo of not coming out quickly cost him dearly. He wasn't of a mind to speak too much, but he knows that's an issue that he must solve when he's facing the world's best.

"I guess that's something that we're going to have to figure out soon," Edgar said glumly. 

Aldo's blazing speed, punching accuracy and takedown defense were a difficult combination for Edgar. No fighter is more game, but when he wasn't able to get Aldo off his feet much, it was obvious he was in trouble. 

And now, the fight will lead Aldo to even bigger and better things. Though there wasn't a massive crowd Saturday, the fans were definitely into the fight and early indications are that the pay-per-view performed well, drawing in excess of 400,000. 

That would be a solid number for a card headed by a featherweight, and could be an indication that the public beyond Aldo's native Brazil is finally accepting him as an elite fighter.

Aldo has now reeled off 15 consecutive wins, beating quality opponents such as Edgar, Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian, Mark Hominick, Urijah Faber and Mike Brown, among many others.

[Related: Joe Benavidez, Demian Maia deliver decision wins at UFC 156]

He's clearly cleaned out the division, though guys such as Dustin Poirier and Ricardo Lamas are lurking near the top, and Aldo could potentially make the move up to lightweight. 

But with Pettis seemingly willing to eschew his guaranteed shot at the winner of the April 20 lightweight title fight between Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, there may be plenty of reason, as well as dollars, in Aldo remaining at featherweight for the time being. 

Pettis won the World Extreme Cagefighting lightweight title in 2010 and was guaranteed a shot at the UFC lightweight belt, then held by Edgar. But when Edgar drew with Gray Maynard a few weeks later and a third fight between them became necessary, Pettis opted not to wait and took a fight with Clay Guida.

Guida used his wrestling to grind out a win over Pettis in a fight that Pettis said, "Taught me a lot of lessons I needed to learn."

After fighting his way back up, Pettis whipped Cerrone before a national television audience with a perfect kick to the liver. He could sit aside and wait for the Henderson-Melendez winner in what would be a big fight, but that's simply not his style.

Like so many others, Pettis sees the greatness in Aldo and is drawn to it.

For his part, Aldo was OK with it.

"It's an interesting fight," is all he would allow, though he added, "I want to fight the best fighters in the world."

Pettis certainly qualifies on that front, and he's one of its most exciting and athletic fighters, as well.

If White pulls it off, Pettis' text message may go down as the most significant in UFC history.

Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
High school retires jersey of still active hoops recruit Jabari Parker
What exactly does Alex Rodriguez have to gain from lying again?
Banished 49er Brandon Jacobs joins different kind of Louisiana parade
Michigan 'catfished' its players prior to Te'o revelation

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

  • 26 days ago
  • 20 views

LAS VEGAS - If Conor McGregor gets past Dennis Siver on Jan. 18 in Boston, a grudge match with longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo is up next. And it could headline the most ambitious stadium u read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 37 views

The UFC featherweight division found its next No. 1 contender on Sunday when Conor McGregor knocked out Dennis Siver in the UFC Fight Night 59 headliner at Boston’s TD Garden.Filed under: Featured, N read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 161 views

Ever the showman, Conor McGregor leap-frogged out of the Octagon then charged UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo immediately following McGregor's second-round TKO victory over Dennis Siver on Sunda read news >>

  • 8 days ago
  • 43 views

Watch Conor McGregor immediately jump the fence to confront Jose Aldo after his UFC win. Immediately after his dominant win over Dennis Siver in UFC Fight Night 59, Conor McGregor sprinted and scaled read news >>

  • 12 hours ago
  • 66 views

Conor McGregor's upcoming title challenge against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will be in Las Vegas, as expected, however talks of a May date appear to have been premature. Immediately follow read news >>

  • 28 days ago
  • 28 views

Don't just talk about it ... be about it. It's common practice for an athlete such as a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter to air his or her grievances through media. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UF read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 19 views

CM Punk will prepare for his MMA career close to home. The former WWE superstar has decided on Roufusport as the gym he will train at to get ready for his first UFC fight, according to UFC president read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

It's still too soon to name an opponent or even a date for Phil "CM Punk" Brooks' first fight in the Octagon, but the former WWE champ has selected a fight camp. read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

CM Punk has decided where to have his training camps, joining Roufusport to train alongside UFC champ Anthony Pettis and Ben Askren. CM Punk has chosen a fight team, and according to Dana White, the read news >>