UFC Featherweight Title Fight
August 3, 2013
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo (-170)
Profile: The best featherweight MMA fighter the world has ever seen, UFC champion Jose Aldo (22-1) has no peer. His ferocious leg kicks, superlative takedown defense and incredible MMA skills translate into someone who was last defeated seven years ago and has matured into one of the most feared fighters on the planet. You could say Aldo has cleared out his entire division, sending Urijah Faber down to 135 pounds, retiring Kenny Florian, destroying the skull of Cub Swanson, and changing Mike Brown’s career forever after beating him for the WEC featherweight championship. The 26-year-old Brazilian is also coming off a dominant unanimous decision win over former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar and will take on another former 155-pounder next when Anthony Pettis drops down to challenge him in an effort to win his very first UFC title.
UFC Featherweight Contender Anthony Pettis (+140)
Profile: The last WEC lightweight champion and the creator of the “Showtime Kick,” Anthony Pettis (16-2) is one of the most exciting and interesting fighters to come around in a long time. A Duke Roufus pupil, Pettis has learned much from his trainer. Pettis has knockout power, fantastic ring IQ and can submit a good majority of lightweights in the UFC. At only 26 years old, Pettis will be a top-level contender for a long time. The problem for him has been getting the chance to fight for a championship belt. After a dominant TKO win over Donald Cerrone, he decided to make his own title shot by asking UFC president Dana White if he could face featherweight champ Aldo if he dropped down a weight class. White obliged and created another monster fight.
Opening UFC Odds Breakdown: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has made Aldo a small -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) against Pettis, who opened as a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140) according to the MMA odds. “This fight has fireworks written all over it,” said Kalikas, who officially opened the line at 5Dimes sportsbook. “Two of the most talented strikers in the UFC will go to war and really shouldn’t disappoint. The early line movement should be interesting, but I think we’ll eventually see the betting public show respect for both fighters, and the sportsbooks should attract two-way action. Pettis might be the biggest threat to the champ’s title to date.” While this may not be a true “superfight” in the sense that both men have held UFC title belts, Pettis entered the UFC as the WEC lightweight champ before losing his debut to Clay Guida via UD and has been anxiously awaiting a title shot. Aldo had also considered moving up to challenge lightweights who were more his natural size, and ”Showtime” will be the first fighter who is truly larger than him with three-inch height and two-inch reach advantages. Pettis had been promised a lightweight title shot against the winner of UFC champion Benson Henderson (who he defeated for the WEC title) and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. But he simply could not wait, and his eagerness to reach out to White right after Aldo’s win over Edgar and willingness to lose weight for a shot at his belt shows the hunger and determination of a future champ. Now Pettis just needs to prove his time has come, as he has already seized this unique opportunity. Meanwhile, Aldo can also continue to build the legacy of a living legend with another victory and cement himself as one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters of all-time.