When you think of the words mercy, relent, compassion or sensitivity, please be certain to not associate them with World Extreme Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. If you ever witness what he does in the octagon, you would attest to the following claim, “Ice water runs through his veins.” Thinking on this matter a little deeper, he is human pre-fight time, but once the cage is closed and locked, this guy morphs into a cyborg and no one can convince me otherwise.
He zeroes in on his target, waits for his opponent to expose weakness and when he does, you can flick the lights off and call it a night because it’s over. His strikes, both punching and kicking, can be likened to long time X-Men villain Juggernaut, because they are quick and powerful. He is on an eight fight winning streak, seven of those by way of Technical knockout.
Aldo has taken four of the upper-brass featherweights and made them look futile. Let’s check the timeline those fights, shall we:
*November 18th, 2009 versus Mike Brown– Looking at how lopsided this fight was, you would’ve never guessed that Brown was the champion and Aldo was the challenger. Aldo unleashed an onslaught of mounted punches on him to become the new WEC Featherweight Champion.
*April 24th, 2010 versus Urijah Faber– Faber stands as the only fighter to go the distance with Aldo. He was looking to regain the title he lost to Brown, but those hopes, along with his left thigh, were destroyed. In an interview the day after the fight with KHTK Sports 1140’s Carmichael Dave, Faber gave the viewing audience a look at his battered thigh. It was so badly bruised that it swelled up to twice the size of his right one. I’m as much of a fan of the California Kid as I am of Aldo, but I wonder if this is why Faber dropped down a class to Bantamweight, which is considered his natural class.
*September 20th, 2010 versus Manny Gamburyan– As in last night! Sticking to his original approach, Aldo played coy to get a feel of his opponent. It was early in the second round when the cyborg got the opening he wanted. He landed a two piece jab combo, followed by an upper cut that put Gamburyan to the canvas. From there, he got control of the challenger’s back, unleashed mounted punches and at the 3:28 mark of round two, he rendered Gamburyan motionless, face first, on the mat.
Given his last four matches with title implications, his eight-fight winning streak and his overall record of 18-1, not only is he the most dominant figure in WEC, but he rightfully belongs in the discussion of pound-for-pound best fighter, with the likes of Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. It’s been mentioned that Aldo is set to fight Josh Grispi (14-1) mid-November, should he get by Erik Koch. Unless there’s a featherweight that is on his way to WEC that I’m ignorant of, I don’t see anyone out there that can beat Aldo. No man is unbeatable, but I am hard pressed to find another fighter in the featherweight division that can match his speed, strength and intensity. If someone out there knows of a fighter who can, would you kindly let me know?
By Antoine Hoffman