Rocky Balboa never lived up to his trainer's high expectations. Mick, who had worked with the greats like Rocky Marciano, wanted the Italian pug to eat lightning and crap thunder.
"You're going to become a very dangerous person."
For the most part, Rocky just blocked punches with his head, signed a power of attorney to give his drunken brother in law control of his finances, and ended up destitute on the streets of Philadelphia. He never ate a bit of lightning. Only crapped the occasional thunder. He was a danger mostly to himself. But Jose Aldo? He's another story all together.
The WEC featherweight champion is faster than lightning, with punches that pop louder than thunder. He brained Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51, just months after making former champ Urijah Faber's leg look like a test subject for the fine folks at crayola (apparently looking for just the right shade to call "bruise.") Aldo shows the potential to be one of the sport's all-time greats. No less an authority than Sports Illustrated's Josh Gross says he may already be the best fighter in the sport:
Others have taken the leap and are calling Aldo the top man in the business. Slow down.
UFC President Dana White calls himself a Jose Aldo fan. But White thinks calling him the best is a bit hasty. OK, it's Dana White - his actual words, charmingly provided to Comcast's Carmichael Dave, were a bit more colorful:
Aldo is an exciting young fighter. But I don't think you become the top fighter in the sport by beating Mike Brown and Manny Gamburyan. It's easy to look pretty impressive against midlevel competition - beating BJ Penn and Forrest Griffin is something else entirely. Professional wrestler Ric Flair said it best. "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." And while I respect Mike Brown, brother, he's not the man.
The featherweight division is just to fresh and shiny new to call anyone from the 145 pound class the best in the world. We are still sorting out the wheat from the chaff- some WEC officials believe it will be two years before the division has worked itself out. Until then, it's hard to say how good Aldo really is. It looks like the answer is "really good." But until he tests himself against other known quantities, it's hard to call him the best.