Clearly, the UFC’s new Fighter Rankings mean absolutely nothing. Apparently, the best way to earn a title shot isn’t to score a top spot in the media-voted polls, but to win a pivotal scrap in a different division.
Anthony Pettis was granted next dibs at the lightweight crown after trouncing Donald Cerrone at UFC 156. However, instead of waiting to face the victor of the April 20th bout between 155-pound champ Benson Henderson and Melendez, “Showtime” decided he didn’t want to ride the pine that long and was handed an immediate crack at featherweight king Jose Aldo’s (Pictured) throne.
Now, UFC President Dana White has told MMAJunkie that Aldo will score an instant opportunity at lightweight gold should he beat Pettis on August 3rd. Although Aldo hasn’t competed at 155 pounds since November 2005, his transition to the larger weight class has been anticipated for quite some time.
If “Scarface” successfully defends his hardware against Pettis and proceeds to snatch the lightweight title, he’ll join BJ Penn (lightweight and welterweight) and Randy Couture (light heavyweight and heavyweight) as the only UFC fighters to don belts in multiple divisions.
White didn’t specify if Aldo would be forced to relinquish his featherweight strap if he claims the 155-pound crown. If he’s allowed to keep both monikers, the 26-year-old would be the only Octagon athlete to simultaneously own two buckles.
Aldo is considered by most as the baddest featherweight to ever play the game. The Brazilian owns an impressive 22-1 professional record and is perfect through his past 15 tangos.