High Stakes: Can UFC 163's Jose Aldo pass Georges St. Pierre in the pound-for-pound rankings?


This Saturday (Aug. 3, 2013), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion Jose Aldo will compete for an incredible sixteenth consecutive victory when he goes to war with Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC 163, which takes place at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"Scarface" will have a lot on the line against "The Korean Zombie," as a win will mark a fifth straight title defense. However, there may be something else on the line this weekend, too, which is a jump up the pound-for-pound rankings.

It's not a radical mixed martial arts (MMA) potential reality.

With Anderson Silva recently relinquishing the top spot, SB Nation currently has Aldo sitting at No. 3 behind UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones and UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. It wouldn't be a shock if Aldo leapfrogged "Rush" with a devastating finish of Jung this weekend to claim the No. 2 spot.

The 145-pound titleholder got off to a bit of a rocky start with the UFC after winning two uninspired decisions over Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian, but he rebounded swimmingly by destroying Chad Mendes and edging the always-tough Frankie Edgar in his last two. Aldo still only possesses one loss on his record, which dates back to 2005.

Since then, his destructive finishes have created a highlight reel that very few in MMA history can match.

On the other hand, it's hard to argue against St. Pierre being the picture of absolute dominance throughout his most recent run as 170-pound champion. The French Canadian has coupled precise game plans with flawless technique to win his last 11 bouts. St. Pierre has repeatedly stifled the exact strengths of his opponents, making him perhaps the most intelligent fighter in the sport today.

And he's done it against the very best the division has to offer, defeating a murderer's row of top Welterweight talent, which is a major testament to the excellence of his run.

Unfortunately, his superior intelligence and robotic execution is also what makes him one of the most predictable fighters in the eyes of many fans. In fact, St. Pierre hasn't put an opponent away since way back in 2009 against B.J. Penn, but even that results was because "The Prodigy" corner threw in the towel between rounds.

With each decision win, fans and media alike begin to focus more on St. Pierre's lack of finishes rather than the complete domination he just unleashed on his opponent. Let's be honest: Exciting finishes are the main reason many combat sports fans tune into the UFC week after week.

Indeed, in the ultra-competitive landscape of MMA, it's simply not enough to just win anymore. Fighters have to win impressively (see UFC on Fox 8's Rory MacDonald as the most recent example of this reality).

That is the reason Aldo deserves serious consideration to cement his spot at No. 2 should he dispatch Jung in classic, deadly fashion at UFC 163. For all intents and purposes, he would have essentially cleared out the Featherweight and, likely, would have to jump to Lightweight in the near future to keep competitive.

If that turns out to be the case, the talents of this unique champion may soon eclipse the top spot in the pound-for-pound rankings.

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