The annual Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Super Bowl weekend show may have found itself a feature attraction.
UFC President Dana White revealed today during a scrum session (watch full video here) that a Featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and No. 2-ranked contender Ricardo Lamas has been discussed for UFC 169, which takes place Sat., Feb. 1, 2014, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
In the past, UFC has traditionally held its Super Bowl weekend pay-per-view (PPV) event in its backyard of Las Vegas, Nevada. However, this time around the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion switched things up at the behest of broadcast partner FOX, who wanted to maximize the synergy between UFC 169 and Super Bowl 48, which airs on FOX and will be held at nearby MetLife Stadium.
Although a Light Heavyweight championship tilt between Jon Jones vs. Glover Teixeira was originally announced for UFC 169, the bout was soon yanked from the card after "Bones" decided he needed more time off to rest up from his grueling title defense against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 last month.
White made no mention on whether the Aldo versus Lamas bout was being considered for the main event of UFC 169; however, on the surface at least it would appear to be a likely possibility with most of the company's top championship draws fighting late in 2013 and their timelines simply not working out for another fight as soon as next February.
Although Aldo is a big star in his native Brazil, so far he has yet to catch fire as a top attraction with MMA fans in United Sites. His last title defense against "Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 back in August did a near-basement level average of 170,000 PPV buys (via MMAPayout.com Blue Book). In contrast, Jones and opponent Chael Sonnen convinced an average of 550,000 fans to press the "buy" button on their remotes when they got it on at UFC 159 this past April.
The good news (at least for us combat sports fans) is that a potential Jose Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas showdown is a great match, even though it lacks in sizzle for a fight card designed to capitalize on the excitement surrounding the biggest North American sporting event of the year.
However, scheduling conflicts may make the 145-pound match up the best available option for a promotion that has a history of headlining big shows with title matches whenever possible.
Then again, nothing is set in stone ... yet.
"It's not done, but we're talking about it," White said today.
For more on UFC 169 be sure to hit up our complete event archive right here.