This has been a tremendously turbulent week for the sport of MMA. WEC 48 making its first stop on PPV was a resounding success from the Jung vs. Garcia lead in to the outclassing of Uriah Faber by Jose Aldo and 24 hours later Tito Ortiz is arrested on a charge of domestic abuse against his girlfriend Jenna Jameson. I would not be doing my job if I ignored the Tito story both because of the magnitude of the individuals involved and the train wreck magnetism of the situation but it takes away from what was a great palate cleansing weekend of MMA.
Tito has had a rough couple of years and 2010 has certainly kicked off a bumpy ride which shows no sign of slowing down with the impeding court case, possible custody battle and of course there’s always the very possible release from the UFC. This is what the MMA world has to deal with these days, when I, for one, want to talk about the Korean Zombie or the Uriah pet hematoma, or the other random hot topic of the week.
When Jose Aldo walked through Faber on Saturday the MMA community immediately began to move him up the pound for pound list (P4P). That mythical list that is as hard to nail down than your ability to get that waitress at Hooters to submit to your every command. Most lists start with Anderson Silva, Fedor, and George St. Pierre. It’s right around this point that the arguing starts about Fedor’s opponents of late, GSP’s inability to finish guys like Hardy, Fitch, and Alves, or the antics of Anderson Silva. but it is excactly that sort of heated discussion that makes this sport great. So is Jose Aldo really 3rd? Some of this talk comes from his desire to slide down to 135 and clean that class out and perhaps setting up a superfight with BJ Penn which would be a tremendously fascinating fight to watch. But, neither of those things have happened yet. So as amazing as Aldo is as both a fighter and an athlete,you could argue that the talent in the WEC – while more exciting and certainly more explosive – it might not be as deep as the talent pool currently inhabiting the UFC.
That is not to take anything away from what happened at WEC 48 or how much I love the organization. It seems to me that the caliber of fight you get from their events, there is a hunger that is missing at times in the UFC. And that is certainly my point: The end game for every fighter is the UFC because of the power of the brand, the fighters, and the paychecks. We have seen fighters that have crossed over from the WEC at 170lbs that really never made the impact they did in WEC, and other than Henderson I think the 155 lb class – if and when it got dissolved into the UFC – would have the same result. So, for me, Jose Aldo is on the list of P4P fighters, but with 7 fights and 3 years in the game I think even he would like a bit more time before he sits in the top three fighters in the world.
But after this weekend you guys can argue about the pound for pound list, I am going to go back and check out the Jung vs. Garcia fight.