Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

Who Can Beat Jose Aldo?

My computer is not dead… but it is on life support. I cannot use a mouse at all, which makes things very irritating, but the computer is still usable, so I’ll do what I can for now. Rest assured that I’ll have SILVA predictions for Friday’s UFC show on FX, but can’t promise full previews yet… I’ll see what I can do.

One thing I have been able to do is update the SILVA scores to include UFC 142 results. Now, I’m a fan of a number of sports besides mixed martial arts, and since I’m such a statistics nerd, I like to research and use different things. One statistic that caught my attention was ESPN’s new quarterback rating system, Total QBR. I think Total QBR is somewhere between the “old” passer rating statistic and Football Outsiders’ DVOA in terms of how good a rating system it is, but what caught my attention in particular was its usage of a 0-100 rating scale. From everything I saw, that aspect of Total QBR is what received the most positive feedback by far, and so I decided to try something similar with SILVA.

So, with the implementation of SILVA 1.1, I did it. I scaled the SILVA rating system so that no fighter was above 100, and 50 represented the approximate average UFC fighter. At the time, I had a feeling that the fighters I measured wouldn’t fit strictly into the 0-100 box I created. Well, there were a number of fighters who scored at negative levels in SILVA, but for a little while, nobody had broken through the 100 point ceiling.

Until now, that is. With his first-round KO victory over Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo has registered a SILVA score of 100.40. All I can say is that if you see a fighter with a negative SILVA score, assume that fighter isn’t prepared to take on UFC talent, and if you see a fighter with a SILVA score of above 100… well, he’s really, really good.

Since the fighter considered best-equipped to beat Aldo has failed, is there any fighter that has what it takes to beat the champion? Well, looking at SILVA scores causes me to be pessimistic about that idea. According to SILVA, the second-best featherweight is still Chad Mendes, who just lost by first-round KO. The third-best featherweight is Kenny Florian, who was Aldo’s previous challenger, was shut down for almost the entirety of the fight, and might soon retire due to a back injury.

The simple answer is that I don’t see Aldo losing anytime soon; at least, not until somebody makes him look somewhat vulnerable. The top featherweights who haven’t received an opportunity to fight for the title yet are Erik Koch, Hatsu Hioki, Ricardo Lamas, and Yuri Alcantara. I expect Hioki to be given the next opportunity to fight Aldo, assuming he beats Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144 in Japan, and that is by no means guaranteed, especially because Hioki barely skated by George Roop in his last fight.

Overall, the outlook for those who wish to see Aldo defeated is bleak. With the win over Chad Mendes, I would argue that Jose Aldo has joined Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre as champions who have defeated all of their respective divisions’ obvious challengers. Aldo is a truly great fighter, and I wish the best of luck to whoever fights him next, because that man is going to need all the luck he can get.

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One response to “Who Can Beat Jose Aldo?

  1. Kalamalahala January 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

    His take down defense is absolutely amazing. He made Chad’s take down attempts look amateur and we all know his stand up is dynamite. Hopefully after one or two more fights at 145 he moves up to lightweight, where I would favor him to win the title there too.

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