We’ve heard the story of Jose Aldo growing up in poverty, having his face accidentally burned by his sisters and we’ve witnessed his improbable rise to MMA royalty, but for most, his personality remains locked behind a language barrier. If you are judging the Brazilian on body language and voice volume, the brilliant UFC featherweight champion comes across as understated and humble, but somewhere in there is an edge of brashness.
That came across this week, when the dynamic 27-year-old was asked to assess his place on the world stage.
“I’ve had the view where I call myself the best pound for pound,” Aldo told FOX Sports through an interpreter. “I’ve had the belt four years and there’s no one else doing that. I’m the best. I’m the best pound-for-pound.”
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There aren’t many arguments to be made for alternative choices. Besides Aldo, champions Jon Jones (light-heavyweight), Cain Velasquez (heavyweight) and Demetrious Johnson (flyweight) are his only real competition.
I’ve had the belt four years and there’s no one else doing that. I’m the best. I’m the best pound-for-pound.
- Jose Aldo
Aldo (23-1) hasn’t lost since Nov. 2005. He’s won all 13 of his starts under Zuffa’s UFC and WEC banners, capturing the featherweight belt in 2009 when it was still WEC property, and defending it five times since the league was absorbed by the UFC.
His success stems from one of the most complete games in MMA. He has accurate strikes and knockout power, but is difficult to hit, avoiding 74.3% of strikes against him. Wrestling-wise, he scores on 69% of his takedown tries and has brilliant takedown defense, as his UFC/WEC opponents have only been able to land 5 of 66 attempts against him. On the ground, he’s a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt. In short, there is almost no holes in his game.
As such, he’s a monstrous favorite over his UFC 169 opponent Ricardo Lamas, leading many to look ahead and speculate about what might be beyond Saturday night. A move up to 155 pounds and a date with Anthony Pettis is one possibility. Though he’s clearly interested, Aldo won’t commit to it just yet, but given his lofty aspirations, the pairing would seem to be an undeniable enticement.
“What’s motivating me right now is I want to break every record in the UFC,” he said. “I haven’t broken every record yet, so what motivates me is to try to make new records.”