Jose Aldo to Get Lightweight Title Shot with Win over Pettis

Steven Rondina@srondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2013

Jose Aldo may in line to become the UFC's third fighter to win the belt in two weight classes.
Jose Aldo may in line to become the UFC's third fighter to win the belt in two weight classes.Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After initially refusing a fight with former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, Dana White is now confirming that the fight will indeed happen August 3. Aldo, though, had a couple conditions attached to accepting the fight.

Multiple sources are reporting that, should Aldo defeat Pettis, he will be the next in line for a lightweight title fight. From Twitter:

Jose Also asked for a LW title shot to accept fight with Pettis: 'Don't see how I can't ask that'… via @tatamemagazine

— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) February 26, 2013

Was able to confirm with @danawhite reports from Brazil: If @josealdojunior beats @showtimepettis, he then fights for the 155-pound title.

— John Morgan (@MMAjunkieJohn) February 26, 2013

This is shocking news out of Brazil that will send two divisions into an exciting disarray for fans. While Jose Aldo has been the most dominant featherweight in MMA since 2008, his cut down to 145 lbs is notoriously difficult, and a move up to lightweight has always been in the cards.

For the lightweight division, assuming an Aldo victory, this instantly adds a fearsome top contender that otherwise would not exist. With UFC champion Benson Henderson set to face Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in April, there is no clear next-in-line fighter for a title shot.

While the division is absolutely stacked with talent, fighters like Jim Miller and Gray Maynard they have suffered recent losses that make them tough to market as legitimate contenders. Past them, up-and-comers like Khabib Nurmagomedov and TJ Grant are not well-known among fans. Aldo puts a relatively popular fighter on a collision course for a blockbuster title fight.

In the featherweight division, subtracting Aldo blows the top off a division that has contenders climbing over each other. Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson both have legitimate claims to a title shot as is, and a strong case can be made that Chan Sung Jung is up there as well. Past those three, Clay Guida, Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes could all be in line for a chance to take the gold.

Suffice it to say, exciting things are happening in the UFC today.