Is Jose Aldo The Greatest Fighter You Never Heard Of?
WEC 48 “Aldo vs. Faber” was supposed to be a battle between two of the world’s best 145-lbs. fighters. Although Jose Aldo was a 2-1 favorite, many thought that Urijah Faber would provide a stiff challenge and could match the Brazilian with his unique style and extraordinary speed. What transpired on Saturday night in front of Faber’s hometown Sacramento fans was the sort of beautiful brutality that left Faber fans in tears and boosted Jose Aldo into the upper echelons of the fictional “pound for pound” best-fighter-in-the-world standings. Aldo’s five round shellacking of Faber proved his skill level is easily on another planet in comparison to other 145 lbs. fighters.
Prior to the wicked dismantling of Urijah Faber, Aldo had already left carnage in the cage as he amassed a 16-1 record while obliterating the opposition. The six fights before Faber all ended in knockouts—three of which came in the first frame. He earned the WEC Featherweight Championship when he easily crushed then-champion Mike Brown in the second round of an extremely one-sided affair. The tremors of his undeniable talent at the tender age of 23 sent shock waves through the MMA world. It wasn’t simply the fact that he was wiping out his opponents; if you looked very close at Aldo’s fights, the Brazilian has rarely been touched. He’s a world class Brazilian jiujitsu practitioner who many MMA fans have never seen on the ground. He’s just so good at using his hands and feet as lethal weapons that many of his fights never touch the ground—unless we’re speaking of the competition sinking to the canvas unconscious, courtesy of Aldo’s strikes.
Yes, Aldo has one loss on his record. He was choked out back in 2005 against Luciano Azevedo. Aldo was 19-years-old and in MMA; everyone can lose. Outside of that single blemish, Aldo’s been damn good.
What he did to Urijah Faber was a display of talent seldom seen in a fight between two athletes considered the best in the division. Aldo wickedly went to work with kicks on Faber’s left leg and did so much damage Faber had to be picked up and carried back to his corner. “The California Kid” had absolutely nothing for Aldo on this night. It was as if an older brother was toying with his younger sibling. He knew he could finish Faber off at any time, but appeared to have mercy in his soul as he simply dissected him for five rounds en route to a one-sided, unanimous-decision victory.
The hard part now is to find worthy competition for Aldo. Perhaps there is someone out there that can lay a finger on the champion and challenge him for five rounds. That person hasn’t been found yet. The scary thing is, Aldo hasn’t even peaked as a fighter. Those that are considered the best today—Anderson Silva (35), Georges St. Pierre (28), Fedor Emelianenko (33) and Lyoto Machida (31) all are at least five years older than Aldo. If he continues wrecking fighters at this pace, how long will it be before he enters the debate as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world? We’ll just have to wait and see.