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Jose Aldo: MMA's Leading Little Man

Jose Aldo is the best fighter in the world that some people have never heard of. Hardcore MMA fans have known Aldo since his days in the WEC, when he was beating up on fighters such as Urijah Faber, Mike Brown and Cub Swanson. Starting in 2011, UFC fans got a taste of what the best featherweight on the planet can do.

Times were not always so good for Aldo. He was raised in extreme poverty in Brazil and often would come to the gym to train without eating anything for days. His teammates would sometimes have to feed him so he could train.

Aldo made his professional debut in August of 2004 in his native Brazil. By October 2005 Aldo was 7-0 with seven finishes. Aldo was 10-1 when he was signed to the WEC and he made his American debut in June of 2008. Aldo spend little time going through the featherweight division, going 5-0 with five knockouts in a 12-month stretch.

Aldo (20-1) is undefeated as a featherweight and in November of 2009 won the WEC Featherweight Title with a TKO victory over Mike Brown. Aldo then made headlines with a five-round destruction of Urijah Faber in April of 2010 in his first title defense.

In 2011, all Aldo did was defeat top contender Mark Honinick (in Honinick's home country of Canada) and defeat longtime UFC contender Kenny Florian, both via unanimous decision. Aldo is 10-0 fighting in Zuffa (WEC, UFC).

There may not be much left for Aldo at 145-pounds. He has defended his WEC/UFC title four times and the UFC featherweight division is not terribly deep. Many believe that Aldo will bolt the featherweight division sooner rather than later for greener pastures at 155.

Potential super-fights with UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar or Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez loom for Aldo perhaps as early as summer 2012. Ben Henderson, Gray Maynard and Melvin Guillard are other names for Aldo if he and the UFC decide it is time for him to move up.

Aldo is ranked as the best featherweight in the world by every major MMA publication, including MMA Nation. Aldo is also ranked as a top five pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Not bad for a man who at one time in his life was going hungry in the streets of Brazil.