Damn we're lucky. In this young sport it's not very often that you have a 'perfect' matchup. However whether you want to disagree with the title shot or weight class drop , we're being blessed with one of the most interesting and high profile matchups in combat sports history. Any way you spin it this is a superfight that we will see at UFC 163. Arguably 2 of the top 5 strikers in the UFC will face each other for a possible 25 minutes and it's not a mismatch by any means. Jose Aldo will defend his belt at 145 lbs against Anthony Pettis and it literally could be the best fight we ever see. Pettis may not carry a belt but let's be honest with ourselves and not use the Clay Guida excuse , he could definitely win the lightweight belt if he fought for it. Matter of fact he's already defeated Ben Henderson as well as destroyed Joe Lauzon and Donald Cerrone in a combined few minutes. With such an electric fight being scheduled and prepared for as we speak I figured a thorough breakdown of the fighters and the matchup would be appropriate. It's refreshing to get away from the FORNICATION FRIDAY SERIES believe it or not because this matchup is so amazing.
In part 1 of the breakdown I would like to take a look at each fighters physical attributes head to head and talk about the significance of the fight being at 145 lbs and for 25 minutes.
THE CHAMPION: JOSE ALDO ( 22-1-0 )
Weight class: 145 lbs featherweight
Natural weight: 165-170 max
Estimated fight weight: 150-155
Wingspan: 70-71 inches
Physical advantages: explosiveness ( speed/power ) , multiple weight cuts to 145 already , most likely stronger at FW than anthony will be.
THE CHALLENGER: ANTHONY PETTIS ( 16-2 )
Weight class: 155 lbs lightweight ( meeting Aldo at 145 lbs. )
Natural weight: 170-175 lbs max
Estimated fight weight: at LW - 158-163 lbs , ( at FW - 150-155 ?? )
Wingspan: 72-73 inches
Physical advantages: Longer wingspan and most likely legs. Impeccable timing and reaction time along with superior coordination. Better cardio and lactate threshold. Although dropping down to FW he most likely won't have a significant size advantage overall.
How these 'advantages' may play out against each other:
Anthony is slightly the longer fighter however aldo's speed and ability to close distance should basically negate a few inch advantage from pettis.
Although Aldo is more powerful and stronger he may hold back a little bit because his cardio and endurance doesn't seem to be as good as Anthony's. This may only happen in the beginning depending if Pettis has a bad weight cut or has an adrenaline dump , which I don't really see happening , or Aldo ends it super quick which is more likely but not something to bet on against a striker of Pettis' caliber.
The true advantage to behold will be the fact that although it drains him significantly Aldo has experience with the weight cut to 145 lbs where as Anthony Pettis does not. If the weight cut is easy for Pettis who is a small LW then it may actually be an advantage to Anthony who already has great cardio and may have even better endurance with less water weight at 145 lbs.
**Please leave any comments or concerns I hope this was a good start to the series I have thought up and the next one will feature the striking comparison. **