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Answering the Critics: Why I Crowned José Aldo the “Pound-for-Pound” Champ

Answering the Critics: Why I Crowned José Aldo the “Pound-for-Pound” Champ

One of my favorite things about making a daily entry on this site is getting feedback from its regulars.

I try to answer everyone and let them know I appreciate all the feedback: good, bad, or ugly — because I really do. Thank you all!

Last week I did a series of book reviews (here and here) to prepare for a slow MMA weekend, and was surprised to find a response by one of the book’s authors! (I’m preparing to follow up with him soon. He’s done some very interesting material since the book I reviewed was published.)

Earlier in the week, I offered my choice of a “Pound-for-Pound” champion. As it turns out, my choice of José Aldo was a controversial one!

A reader named JamesJessie wrote, “I think Aldo is a great fighter, but I still have him at 4… GSP is one and Jon Jones is two… Call me crazy but Frankie Edgar is my number 3… I believe he won the last three rounds of the Aldo fight… I also had his rematch with Bendo 4 rounds to 1 in favor of Edgar… To me, and this is nothing more than just the way the UFC markets everything, but it’s hard to compare Aldo’s competition that he has beat to that of some of the other p4p kings. The only huge name he fought was Edgar and I think he lost.”

Thanks for your response, JJ. I agree it’s really difficult to compare quality of opposition in different weight classes.

I enjoyed another look at José Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar prior to completing Monday’s article and I’ll admit it gave me pause; Edgar really had a great showing, especially late in the bout, as FightMetric stats describe. But I felt Aldo did enough to win three rounds clearly, and maybe four. He out-struck Edgar with damaging blows to the head in each round.

Edgar is certainly a great fighter. So is Chad Mendes, who hasn’t lost before or since his spectacular T/KO at the hands (and knee) of Aldo. Mark Hominick’s career took a nosedive after the infamous hematoma in the Aldo bout but he was fighting very well at the time.

Your response also mentioned Georges St-Pierre, who is a popular selection among fans. Here’s another admission: when I sat down to write my article on Aldo, I can’t say I even considered St-Pierre.

But, the truth is different fans will have different criteria for a “Pound-for-Pound” champion.

How good is a fighter doing against what opposition? What level of athleticism do they display? What technique?

At the end of the day, who is my “Pound-for-Pound” champion? It’s the fighter I walk away most impressed with. That takes a series of great performances… and right now, that’s José Aldo. I can’t offer it to someone who isn’t winning consistently over the last half dozen or so fights. That would knock out, say, Anderson Silva.

Nor could I hand that crown to a fighter who is looking to put together winning minutes of a bout, rather than actually work to a finish.

That’s how I see GSP, at least in the last few years.

Sure, he’s a brilliant fighter who deserves every accolade he’s received. But, not mine.

Two other readers also responded, and both mentioned Cain Velasquez. Again, here is a really special fighter who has put together a spectacular career. But again, he lost four fights ago; and I’d like to see a string of victories from a P4P champ.

Again, Velasquez deserving of every accolade he’s received… but not this one.

And yes, it’s fictitious – but hey, it’s mine!


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