In the UFC 156 post fight press conference, Dana announced another potential superfight between exciting strikers top featherweight Jose Aldo and the lightweight #1 contender Anthony Pettis. It is hard not to get excited about these two fighters potentially facing off inside the octagon. My first reaction to it was excitement like pretty much everyone else. Yet I think there is a better strategy for the UFC to ultimately pursue.
Jose Aldo is one of the most dynamic fighters in the world. He is young, already a top 4 p4p fighter, and can produce highlight reel moments. While Ricardo Lamas is coming off an impressive win on a solid FOX card. Another marketable top contender in Chan Sung Jung who can be counted on to push the pace and make an exciting fight as well if they prefer. The UFC has been looking to put on title fights and create new stars using the FOX outlet. Showcasing the featherweight division in a Aldo/Lamas or Aldo/KZ fight would be perfect for FOX a card and likely end in spectacular fashion.
In the meantime the Anthony Pettis has been taking out top LW contenders. His first fight with Ben Henderson was an incredible back and forth affair and contained one of the great moments in MMA history. It would be hard for the 2nd fight to live up to the first, but the rematch should be very easy to market.
If Pettis wins the rematch with Henderson the UFC now has two young dynamic strikers in Pettis and Aldo as champions to market at 145 and 155(with a possible super fight down the line). If Pettis loses it isn't the end of the world. Dropping down from LW to FW after being a contender would put Pettis at most one fight away from a title shot. It is much easier for Pettis to drop down after a loss and be in contention than justify him losing to Aldo then going up in weight and leapfrogging a very stacked lightweight division to be back in line.
If the UFC ignores my expert advise there will be no tears out of me for having to settle with Pettis/Aldo. I do think sticking with Bendo/Pettis II or Pettis/Melendez if Gil pulls off the upset while giving Aldo a showcase fight on FOX is their best strategy.