WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is the epitome of an MMA wrecking machine. On his feet, Aldo has the ability to demolish any foe with a ruthless arsenal of Muay Thai striking and pure knockout power.
The Nova Uniao BJJ black belt is also a lethal weapon on the ground, but we rarely see his jiu-jitsu prowess due to his impeccable takedown defense.
Some say Aldo is destined to reign over the featherweight division for a long time. Let’s take a look at the top 6 contenders in the WEC’s featherweight division (excluding Gamburyan) and analyze their chances of dethroning the Brazilian champion.
Josh Grispi (MMA Record: 14-1, WEC Record: 4-0)
At the young age of 21, Grispi has already established himself as one of the featherweight division’s elite. He’s dangerous in all areas of the game and seems to improve dramatically with each fight.
Against Aldo, Grispi would have to employ a similar gameplan that Frankie Edgar used to defeat B.J Penn. He would have to stick and move, keep Aldo guessing and constantly put pressure on the Brazilian. The problem is, Aldo is much quicker on his feet than Penn is and Grispi doesn’t have the wrestling to bring Aldo to the mat at will either. Grispi might actually be favored to win this fight in a few years, but not now.
Chance of beating Aldo: 45%
Chad Mendes (MMA Record: 8-0, WEC Record: 3-0)
This would be a fight where we would actually see Aldo’s ground game at work for a change. Mendes may just have the most dominant wrestling base in the featherweight division. Call him one-dimensional, but he’s extraordinarily great at that one dimension, and he’s still young in the sport. His other skills are developing quickly and he’s shown good finishing power.
Aldo successfully defended Mike Brown’s takedowns, but Mendes is a different beast. But Aldo is a nightmare on the ground and should be able to either submit Mendes or find a way to scramble back to his feet. But sometimes dominant wrestling is all you need to grind out a win over a seemingly unbeatable opponent.
Chance of beating Aldo: 40%