Jose Aldo cleaned out his division at UFC 169 with a five-round unanimous decision win over the clearly-outmatched Ricardo Lamas, prompting Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White to seek new challenges outside of "Junior's" natural wight class.
That's how we ended up with the twice-defunct "super fight" against Anthony Pettis.
But despite his dominance at 145 pounds, Aldo came under fire from critics -- as well as his boss -- for his lackluster performances inside the Octagon. While decision wins are nothing new for undisputed champions (think Georges St. Pierre and Ben Henderson), the Brazilian is held to a different standard because he knocked out seven of eight opponents in WEC.
Including six in a row.
But his new approach to combat may have cost him a higher spot in the promotion's official pound-for-pound rankings, according to White, because Aldo just "lays back and doesn't let anything go." The champion has heard that critique, and offers his rebuttal to Tatame (via MMA Fighting):
"We need to know how to handle the criticism. You dedicate and suffer a lot to showcase your technique and ability, things that few people can do, and some people say you're laying back. It's tough, but I don't care about this. If you lose, no one will remember you, but if you're the champion they will always remember you. I want to keep winning, no matter what. The [pound-for-pound] ranking is fucking useless, and I don't care about it or anything people put on (about it). The best pound-for-pound fighter is (Cain) Velasquez because he beats all of them. If they put him against me, he'd beat me. That's how it works for me. The best is that one that beats everybody. I don't care about the rankings."
Aldo, for what it's worth, is ranked at number two (see the list here), which isn't too shabby.
Any chance of watching Aldo throw hands against Pettis went out the window when "Showtime" was booked as an Ultimate Fighter (TUF) coach opposite the newly re-signed Gilbert Melendez (details). That means fight fans can anticipate some familiar faces when "Junior" returns to the cage.
Not that Chad Mendes or Cub Swanson will be complaining.