Jon Jones may be running roughshod over the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight division since 2008, but Jose Aldo has been doing the same in the featherweight division for nearly a decade.
And that's why Junior dos Santos claims Aldo, not Jones, is the true pound-four-pound best fighter in all of mixed martial arts (MMA).
"Cigano" said as much during a recent fan chat (via MMA Fighting):
"There are a lot of great fighters right now. It's complicated, but I'll choose Jose Aldo. It's not because I'm at Nova Uniao now. I'd have answered this question the same way before. It's impressive what Aldo has done in his division. I know that a lot of people are talking about Jon Jones, and he really is a phenom, he's really good, but Aldo is at the top and defending his title for a lot longer. Jose Aldo is the man right now."
As it stands, Jones is No. 1 on the official UFC rankings while Aldo is close behind at the No. 2 spot.
For some, Aldo included, the pound-for-pound rankings are "f---ing usless" and hold no merit. For others, it's simply a way to measure a fighter's success and skill level. So, lets take a look at their respective accomplishments, shall we?
Jones boasts a 19-1 record (13-1 UFC) which includes 10 straight victories inside the Octagon, eight of those coming by way of knockout or submission. "Bones" also became the youngest champion the UFC history when he defeated Mauricio Rua at UFC 128.
He also holds the record for most consecutive title defenses in the division with six. In addition, Jon's only loss came via disqualification after he rained down some illegal elbows on Matt Hamill in a fight he was clearly dominating.
As for Aldo, the Brazilian bomber is the proud owner of a 24-1 record (6-0 UFC) which includes a 17-fight win streak that dates back to his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) days where he was also the 145-pound champion.
He, too, is the proud owner of six straight title defenses. Aldo's first and only loss was in 2005 in a fight that was contested at lightweight.
One can argue, however, that Jones' level of competition has been stronger than that of Aldo's. No disrespect to the rest of the featherweight division, of course.
With stats and accomplishments such as those, either of those men can easily lay claim to the top spot. Of course, pound-for-pound qualifications may vary, depending on who you ask.
Nevertheless, while JDS acknowledges "Bones" as a "phenom," he strongly believes Aldo deserves to sit atop of the pound-for-pound rankings. Anyone (dis) agree?
I bet you thought you'd never see the day when Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva weren't even in the discussion ... or did you?