Jose Aldo defends featherweight title
- UFC 169: Aldo Defeats Lamas
UFC 169: Aldo Defeats Lamas
NEWARK, N.J. -- Jose Aldo is running out of things to prove at 145 pounds.
The UFC featherweight champion was dominant again on Saturday, defending his title for the sixth time via unanimous decision over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169 at the Prudential Center.
"Ricardo Lamas was a tough guy," Aldo said. "He never gave up. He pushed me hard until the last round, but I showed all my skills, especially Brazilian jiu-jitsu."[+] EnlargeEd Mulholland for ESPNRicardo Lamas, left, rallied in Round 5, but by then it was too little, too late against Jose Aldo.[+] EnlargeEd Mulholland for ESPNRicardo Lamas, left, rallied in Round 5, but by then it was too little, too late against Jose Aldo.
Aldo (24-1) took four of five rounds, according to judges Ricardo Almeida, Eric Colon and Cardo Urso, resulting in identical scores of 49-46. His signature leg kicks were a major weapon again against Lamas (13-3), who made his first appearance in the Octagon since a win against Erik Koch last January.
The title fight got off to a bit of a slow start. Aldo calmly walked Lamas down as he patrolled the perimeter of the Octagon. When Aldo did attack, it was with lightning speed. He spun Lamas completely around with several outside leg kicks and continually went to the body with punches, particularly in the early rounds.
Lamas hid the effects of those leg kicks well, as he continued to bounce on his lead leg -- but the challenger revealed a visible limp once the fight was finished.
Aldo came closest to a finish in the third, when he took Lamas down with an outside trip and eventually moved to full mount. Lamas elected to give up his back, where Aldo worked for a rear-naked choke but couldn't secure it.
Lamas made attempts of his own to take the fight to the ground, but struggled with Aldo's athleticism. At one point in the third, he lifted Aldo completely off the ground for several seconds, but still couldn't bring him down.
His best moments came late, as he swept from the bottom and took top position with half of the final round remaining. Aldo, however, seemed content in tying him up from his back and riding it out to the bell, which he did relatively effectively.
Lamas suffers his first loss in the UFC, dropping his overall record with the promotion to 4-1.
Prior to Saturday, Aldo expressed interest in a move to 155 pounds, which UFC president Dana White "green lit" during his interviews with media. Aldo reaffirmed his desire to move up after his win, which sets up the potential for a collision course with Anthony Pettis.
"I'm considering a move to another division, but before I make a decision I should talk to my manager and my family," Aldo said.
The Brazilian champ has long expressed interest in moving to the lightweight division, where Pettis (17-2) is the current title-holder. The two were scheduled to fight for Aldo's title last summer, but Pettis was forced to withdraw due to injury. He eventually fought lightweight champion Ben Henderson at UFC 164 in August and won via first-round submission.
Following Saturday's win, Aldo deferred any final decision to the UFC -- but made it clear he prefers Pettis next.
"I'm ready," Aldo said. "I've always been ready. Everybody wants the fight. If the fight was tonight, I'd fight him. It's up to the UFC and [president] Dana White."
Immediately after Aldo made the statement, Pettis' manager called UFC officials to inform them his fighter also wanted the bout. Pettis is currently rehabbing from knee surgery and hasn't fought since he won the belt.
"Sounds like we got a fight," White said. "Got that deal done."
Aldo, 27, would be expected to vacate the 145-pound title. He has never been keen on the prospect of relinquishing his belt, but that would be a requirement for him to move up in weight, according to White.
"The answer is yes, he would vacate the title and move up to 155," White said. "If he didn't win the title, he could go back and challenge for the 145 again."
Aldo would become only the third fighter in UFC history to win belts in multiple weight classes should he beat Pettis, joining Randy Couture and B.J. Penn.
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