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Crash Course: José Aldo vs. Ricardo Lamas

Photo: Eric Jamison/AP

José Aldo has not lost during the past eight years, a remarkable string of 16 consecutive victories.

In the week leading up to every UFC championship bout, SI.com presents a crash course on the big fight. UFC 169, which takes place on Saturday, will feature two title tilts. Later this week we'll preview the main event, in which Renan Barão defends his newly awarded bantamweight championship against Urijah Faber. For today, here's a guide to the co-main event.

Overview

Anderson Silva lives. Just in a Mini-Me size.

The longtime pound-for-pound king of mixed martial arts, Silva has been knocked down a few pegs by a pair of losses to Chris Weidman. And as he nurses his broken leg and contemplates a return to the octagon to try to seize back the UFC middleweight championship he owned for nearly seven years, the Brazilian marvel can sit back and watch a young countryman do what he did for so long. Namely, look unstoppable.

José Aldo has been a relentless winner for a long time, too. Over the last eight years, he's been victorious in 16 straight fights, the same streak Silva once had.

When Aldo meets Ricardo Lamas at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, PPV), it will be Aldo's seventh defense of the featherweight belt he was awarded in 2011 after the UFC absorbed the 145-pound division from its corporate cousin, the WEC, where the Brazilian had reigned for nearly a year and a half. The fight is the co-main event of UFC 169, headlined by another title bout, in which Renan Barão -- Aldo's training partner on Rio de Janeiro's vaunted Nova União fight team -- defends his bantamweight belt against Urijah Faber.

The 27-year-old Aldo (23-1, 5-0 in the UFC) burst onto the American MMA scene in 2008, winning his first six WEC bouts by knockout, the last of them earning him the brass-and-leather strap that to that point had been worn by Mike Brown. Since then he's defended it against a line of luminaries that includes Faber, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, and former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. Aldo stands at No. 2 in both the SI.com and official media-voted UFC pound-for-pound fighter rankings, behind only light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.

Lamas (13-2, 4-0 UFC), No. 4 on the SI.com featherweight list and the No. 2 contender in the UFC rankings, earned this title shot on the strength of consecutive victories over top-shelf guys Cub Swanson, Hatsu Hioki and Erik Koch. The 31-year-old Chicagoan, a Division III wrestling All-American, was an underdog each time, yet he submitted Swanson, KO'd Koch and earned a unanimous decision over Hioki. For a fighter who doesn't talk about himself very much, that's called making a statement.

In addition to the pay-per-view telecast of the five-fight main card, four prelims will be shown on Fox Sports 1 (8 p.m. ET) and the card's other three bouts will stream on the UFC Fight Pass digital subscription service (6:30 p.m.).

Background

Lamas has been orbiting the championship world for a little over a year.

In late 2012 he was expected to fight Edgar, but because of a training-camp injury to Aldo's scheduled opponent, the former 155-pound belt holder was pulled away from Lamas and put in the cage with the champ for the title.

Déjà vu struck last summer, when Lamas was scheduled to fight Chan Sung Jung but the Korean dynamo also ended up being yanked from that bout and inserted in a championship fight with Aldo. Like Edgar, "The Korean Zombie" did not fare very well.

Now it's Lamas' turn.

Last Five Fights

Aldo

8/3/13 Chan Sung Jung W TKO 4

2/2/13 Frankie Edgar W UD 5

1/14/12 Chad Mendes W KO 1

10/8/11 Kenny Florian W UD 5

4/30/11 Mark Hominick W UD 5

Lamas

1/26/13 Erik Koch W TKO 2

6/22/12 Hatsu Hioki W UD 3

11/12/11 Cub Swanson W Sub 2

6/26/11 Matt Grice W TKO 1

12/16/10 Yuri Alcantara L KO 1

 
Tale of the Tape
Aldo
vs.
Lamas
Sept. 9, 1986
Birth Date
May 21, 1982
Manaus, Brazil
Birthplace
Chicago, Ill.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Residence
Miami, Fla.
23-1
Record
13-2
145*
Weight
145*
5'7"
Height
5'8"
70"
Reach
70"
* Official weights announced at the weigh-in (Friday, 4 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)

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