Thursday was a watershed day for Zuffa LLC, as the company announced it would merge their UFC and WEC organizations to form one powerhouse banner. While Octagon brass has had a frantic morning, it was a great day for FORMER WEC featherweight king Jose Aldo.
The Brazilian didn’t have to lift a finger, yet received a promotion to become the UFC’s NEW 145-pound champion.
“This kid could be a huge star,” White said on today’s conference call. “[WEC fighters] are finally on the biggest stage in the world now.”
Aldo owns a dominant 18-1 professional record and posted a perfect 8-0 mark in the WEC en route to capturing the title.
White may have TECHNICALLY just become Aldo’s direct supervisor, but it didn’t stop him from barking out orders. The brash promoter said the planet’s baddest featherweight will break in his new bling-bling belt at UFC 125.
No opponent has been named at this time. However, Mark Hominick and Josh Grispi have emerged as the front-runners to be the champ’s next victim. Although, Grispi submitted Hominick at WEC 32 in February 2008, and has a WEC 52 fight against Erik Koch to look forward to, his title path is slightly more complicated.
A lightweight title scrap between reigning champion Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard will headline the New Year’s Day show inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here are the fighters rumored/expected to participate in the pay-per-view event:
Phil Baroni vs. Brad Tavares
Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann
Jason MacDonald and Rafael Natal
Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva
Roy Nelson vs. TBD
Jose Aldo (UFC Featherweight Champion) vs. TBD
Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann
Takanori Gomi vs. Clay Guida
Gray Maynard vs. Frankie Edgar (UFC Lightweight Champion)