Alongside the news of the UFC-WEC merger, news of Jose Aldo‘s next title defense was also revealed, as the new UFC featherweight champion will fight at UFC 125 this January.
Aldo will be the first champion from the WEC to defend his belt on a UFC card, though no opponent has been named yet. Josh Grispi appears to be the top option in a featherweight division Aldo has essentially torn apart with his utter dominance, including his most recent victory, a knockout over Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51 this past September. Mark Hominick was next in line for the title shot, but Heavy MMA has learned he will not be able to fight in January due to breaking his hand in his WEC 51 fight with Leonard Garcia.
Along with the Gamburyan knockout, Aldo has defeated such notables as former champions Mike Brown and Urijah Faber. His devastating speed, power, and technicality make him one of the most dangerous fighters in the entire sport and a potentially enormous draw due to his knockout prowess.
The UFC 125, which is set for Las Vegas on January 1, recently lost co-main event fighter Shane Carwin due to injury, but now Aldo will step in to bolster the New Year’s Day card. The main event of the evening is a lightweight title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and top contender Gray Maynard, while several other bouts, including Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann, have been made official or are in the works.