by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Jose Aldo not only thrashed Urijah Faber’s leg to retain the WEC featherweight title on Saturday night, but he also may have started his path towards creating the elusive legacy that so many fighters talk about in mixed martial arts.
Fighters like Georges St-Pierre, B.J. Penn, and Anderson Silva have all said when they walk away from the sport they want to leave a legacy behind and be remembered as one of the best ever. While he currently resides in the 145-pound weight division, Aldo sits in a unique position to possibly jump weight classes and start his reign of terror all over again.
UFC President Dana White talked about Aldo’s crushing performance over Faber, and drew back to a fight from several years ago when describing the brutal nature of the Brazilian’s leg kicks.
“Those are some of the nastiest leg kicks I’ve ever seen,” said White. “I haven’t seen leg kicks seriously that damaging and that bad since like Couture/Rizzo. That first Couture/Rizzo fight.”
The possibility for Aldo to jump up or down in weight has been mentioned before, and outside of a fight with new top contender Manny Gamburyan, the champion seems to have cleaned out a very stacked featherweight division. He may soon call out the bantamweight or lightweight champion for his next challenge.
“I had heard he wants to move down a weight class, win that belt, then go to 155 and fight B.J. (Penn) in the UFC,” said White.
“If he could do that, I don’t know if he could cut that weight and make that lighter weight division, but he’d be the first guy to win three titles in mixed martial arts. I think that’s pretty interesting. I love stuff like that.”
Fighters winning belts in different weight divisions has obviously happened before, but rarely have moments occurred where a still reigning champion has a chance to add another belt to his or her collection.
Unlike boxing where the weight divisions are all fairly close together, White believes that could be the one big obstacle in Aldo’s way, but he doesn’t doubt his desire to give it a try.
“I think when a guy proves himself at a certain weight class, it’s time to move on and try something new,” White stated. “I like that, but it’s hard to do in this sport because there’s such a gap between weight classes.”
White confirmed that television contracts and promotional branding led to the virtual disappearance of the WEC brand during the broadcast on Saturday, but clarified that the fighters are free to move around between organizations if that’s what Zuffa decides to do with them.
All personnel decisions are Zuffa’s to make and they can float fighters between promotions as they see fit.
With White’s support, the door is wide open for Aldo to try his hand at different weight classes. Ben Henderson and Dominic Cruz have just been put on notice, Jose Aldo is coming and it’s their job to try and stop him.