Photo by WEC
But as Jose Aldo Jr. proved Thursday in retaining his World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight title with a dominant second-round technical knockout of Manny Gamburyan in the main event of WEC 51 at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo., if he's not the best fighter in the world, he's no worse than 1A.
The 24-year-old Brazilian has a brilliant all-around game, which he showcased in taking apart Gamburyan in the main event of what was yet another sensational WEC card.
Ben Fowlkes talks about the contrast between the high quality WEC show and Saturday's lousy UFC 119:
WEC 51 went down in Broomfield, Colo. on Thursday night, and as we've come to expect, the smaller fighters did their best to make MMA fans forget about the last lackluster UFC pay-per-view. And the best part? It was all on free TV.
What's wrong with this picture?
Simple, UFC fans are being asked to shell out $50 for UFC 119, a card that featured no title fights, only two top contender fights and an utter stinker of a headliner.
Meanwhile Jose Aldo, a man universally acclaimed at the best in his weight class, fights on the Versus network for the smallest audience any Zuffa card gets and gets paid accordingly.
It's time for Zuffa to come to grips with the fact that their WEC experiment is a dud. The ratings on Versus are getting worse over time, despite consistently tremendous product. Plus the rationale makes no sense now that the UFC is airing fights on Versus a few times a year.
Fighters no bigger than Jose Aldo have been some of the biggest draws in boxing for years. There is no reason to believe that UFC fans wouldn't rather pay for Jose Aldo at the top of a card than Frank Mir and Mirko Filipovic.
I'm not saying that putting Aldo on the top of the UFC 119 card would have added many, or even any buys, but what it would have done is dramatically reduced the erosion of the UFC's baseline PPV numbers. When you give your hardest core fans a quality product, they keep coming back.
It's time for the UFC and the WEC to merge, for the UFC to use its Versus deal to air Fight Night quality fights and let Spike air international UFC's and TUF Finales, and for the best fighters at 135 and 145lbs to share in the fame and fortune that their talent merits.[UPDATE] - José Aldo has no problem moving up in weight for the UFC:
"I would, for sure. I have what it takes to fight in the UFC, but that doesn’t depend on me. I’d have to talk to the people who work with me, like Dedé (Pederneiras), my coach, and Joinha (Jorge Guimarães), my manager. What they decide on is always what’s best. But I believe I have all it takes to fight in the upper division. There’d be no problem at all."