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UFC 169: Aldo vs. Lamas
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Published: 2/1/2014  at  3:19:00 AM
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UFC 169: Aldo vs. Lamas

Saturday, February 1 – 11:00 p.m. ET
Newark, NJ

Jose Aldo (23-1) vs. Ricardo Lamas (13-2)

Featherweight title bout
Line: Aldo -675, Lamas +475

Jose Aldo has been dominant in his past few fights, and is a heavy favorite to retain his featherweight belt as he goes up against Ricardo Lamas on Saturday night in Newark, NJ.

Aldo hasn't lost since 2005, prevailing in 16 straight fights, including some of the best fighters that the sport has seen. He has defeated guys such as Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes in many different ways. His victory over Mendes saw him deliver a punishing knee to knock him out with just one second remaining in the first round. Aldo is such a fast and explosive fighter that he once he sets the pace of the fight, it is nearly impossible to slow him down. Three of his past five matches have gone to decision, showing that he does not wear himself out when on the attack. His versatility and ability to keep coming at his opponent is going to make things very difficult for Lamas to keep up with him. Lamas enters the match with four consecutive victories, including a TKO win over Erik Koch in his most recent fight which occurred more than a year ago on Jan. 26, 2013. Lamas is a punishing fighter that has the ability to end the match in a hurry, and has the biggest opportunity of his career right in front of him. In the end, it will not be enough, as ALDO is simply too good, and will take care of business quickly.

Of Aldo’s 23 career victories, 15 of them have come by knockout. He also has seven victories by decision and one by submission. The 27-year-old Brazilian comes into this match with a huge advantage when it comes to striking, landing 3.29 strikes per minute compared to just 2.44 for Lamas. Aldo is nearly impossible to take to the ground with his 92% takedown defense, which is nearly double the 48% takedown defense of Lamas. Aldo has a significant edge in a takedown percentage of 69% compared to just 38% for Lamas. "Junior" Aldo has the advantage in pretty much every area going into this fight, but cedes one inch in height to the 5-foot-8 Lamas. While Aldo is an overwhelming favorite on Saturday, he must remain focused at the task at hand, and not overlook Lamas.

Lamas is not a big trash talker compared to most fighters in the UFC, but just goes out and does his job by letting his actions do the talking. He has won seven of his past eight fights, including four in a row since being knocked out in the first round by Iuri Alcantara on Dec. 16, 2010. The 31-year-old Chicago native has six career victories by decision, with four knockouts and three submissions. For "The Bully" Lamas to stay in this fight, he will have to take Aldo down to the ground. While that is a very difficult thing to do, he does have the strength to do it with an impressive 2.03 takedown average, nearly twice of what Aldo produces (1.03 takedown average). While this is the biggest fight of his career, Lamas cannot let the magnitude of the situation change his mindset. If he gets baited into fighting the style that Aldo wants, this could be over very quickly.

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