MMA Power Rankings -- FEATHERWEIGHT
Monday, Feb. 6
Who is next for Jose Aldo? That becomes the question. The most popular choice currently fighting in the division is longtime Japanese standout Hatsu Hioki, who is set to take on Bart Palaszewski later this month at UFC 144. The former Shooto lightweight champion would certainly make a compelling case with a good showing in Japan, and as an adamant submission specialist might present an interesting contrast to Aldo's vaunted striking. Yet a title tilt between the two doesn't hold a candle to the possibility of Jose Aldo versus Frankie Edgar.
It's contingent on a lot of things, but Edgar defends his lightweight belt against Benson Henderson on that same UFC 144 card, and it could have an impact on who Aldo gets saddled with. Should Edgar lose, there has been speculation that he could drop down to his more natural weight class in the feathers. If he did that, you'd have to assume that the UFC would look at booking Aldo against Edgar as a marquee match-up with plenty of instant appeal.
If not Edgar or Hioki, it's hard to say whom matchmaker Sean Shelby would look at. Dustin Poirier is coming off yet another fantastic showing, this time against Max Holloway at UFC 143 (via mounted triangle armbar), but he is barely 23 years old and in no hurry. Erik Koch, who many believe to be the toughest challenge currently in the division, had to back out of his fight with Poirier at UFC 143 due to injury. Therefore, it wouldn't make sense to jump him in front of Poirier.
How will it all play out? We'll get a better notion come Feb. 26 in Saitama.See how they were ranked here.