After both champions retained their titles tonight at UFC 136, what comes next for Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo?
Edgar’s performance was stellar, once again showing remarkable mental and physical toughness, but also finding a finish which helps ensure that he can put a definitive cap on his trilogy of fights with Gray Maynard.
According to Dana White last night if had his way then Edgar would now vacate his lightweight belt and head down to featherweight to challenge Jose Aldo as he still feels that’s the weight class he’s best suited to.
The UFC president has said the decision is entirely up to Edgar though, and he seems intent on sticking at 155lbs for now.
At the post-fight presser he made it clear that he is most interested in a fight with current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, a fight he believes could be a big PPV draw.
White has already indicated that he too is interested in having Melendez sign with the UFC and fight for the title, but though he admits he did speak to ‘El Nino’ on Saturday nothing’s been decided yet and Melendez next fight could still happen in Strikeforce.
If Melendez is unable to make the switch yet then the winner of November 12th’s ‘UFC On FOX 1’ co-main event between Ben Henderson and Clay Guida would be the clear No.1 contender at 155lbs, particularly given that Melvin Guillard has now dropped from the title mix after losing last night.
Aldo wasn’t neccessarily at his best last night, but he did pick up a victory over a well known opponent to bolster his resume and was able to show that there’s more to his game than just explosive striking as he handled Florian on the ground for significant portions of the bout with his BJJ skills.
Ideally Aldo could do with another big name fight next to help continue to build him as a legimate UFC star, but unless Frankie Edgar does move down to 145lbs, which seems unlikely in the immediate fugure, then it’s hard to see who that would be.
That leaves Team Alpha-Male product Chad ‘Money’ Mendes as the most obvious choice to face him next.
The problem for Mendes is that he doesn’t have real name recognition yet in the UFC, but with a perfect 11-0 record, including two wins in the Octagon so far this year, it’s hard to look past him.