UFC 200: What Ever Happened to Jose Aldo?

This time two years ago, former UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo was considered one of the top two pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Now in 2016 it appears many people have written Aldo off.

In blogs and other media outlets worldwide it appears that more and more people are talking about the like of Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, and Ronda Rousey in lieu of one of the UFC’s greatest champions, Jose Aldo.

Is it because he isn’t as marketable? Is it because he is injury prone? Is it because his last fight only lasted 13 seconds? Could it be a combination of the three?

That has to be the case. It is hard to take away what someone of Jose Aldo’s stature has done in the sport. This is a world run by “What have you done for me lately?” and even though he was the first featherweight champion and held the crown until an Irish hype-train stood opposite him, he hasn’t produced anything since he defeated Chad Mendes by unanimous decision at UFC 179 in October of 2014. But come on, does a 10 year win streak mean nothing to you people?

Jose Aldo still remains one of the most dangerous fighters the UFC has to offer. He can stand and strike with the best of them (see both Chad Mendes fights, and his flying knee knockout of Cub Swanson). He’s still the same fierce competitor, so what changed?

Saturday, July 9 at UFC 200, Jose Aldo will test his luck against the streaking Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight belt. The winner will fight Conor McGregor if he ever moseys his way down to 145 again.

This upcoming fight is just what the doctor ordered for Jose Aldo. It puts him on the biggest stage of the year, and arguably the biggest stage in UFC history. A win here puts a belt (granted it’s an interim belt) back around his waist and puts him back in control of his own destiny. This is the perfect scenario for the former-champ.

Now for the contrary, say Aldo loses to Edgar come UFC 200. Then what’s next for Aldo? Does he face Max Holloway next to work his way back through the featherweight ranks? I think not.

Jose Aldo should take the Donald Cerrone approach and fight up at the next highest weight class. Look what fighting at welterweight has done for Cowboy. He’s been fighting at a higher level than he ever has now that he is at a more comfortable weight. He looked like a monster in his last fight against Patrick Cote. Who’s to say that bumping up to lightweight won’t have the same effect on Aldo? On his name alone he could come in and challenge someone in the top 12, maybe even the lower half of the top 10. Jose Aldo would be a force to be reckoned with at 155.

It is still a mystery trying to figure out what happened to Jose Aldo and why he’s lost some popularity and accolades over the past two years. The one thing that’s certain is his fight against Frankie Edgar on July 9 could be the best fight on a stacked card.