Does Dillashaw vs. Aldo Make Sense in 2022? | Fight Odds and Analysis

Dillashaw vs Aldo

Depending on how things shake out, there’s still a very real possibility that T.J. Dillashaw could find himself locked inside the Octagon opposite none other than Jose Aldo; the odds of it happening are sort of waning, but there’s still a world in which that fight comes to fruition, so it’s definitely worth talking about.

This particular match-up has fireworks written all over it — it’d be a clash of two absolute legends, a spectacle worthy of the history books!

To make things even better, both fighters are still in their prime, despite competing at the highest of levels for what feels like an eternity. How in the world they’ve been able to maintain such excellence for so long is beyond our understanding. Well, T.J. certainly had a bit of “external” help — the kind for which he received a two-year suspension for — but the point stands nonetheless.

T.J. is thirty-six years old. Aldo’s thirty-five. Between them they’ve accomplished more than most of their peers can only ever dream of. And yet they still have the urge to compete and to prove to both the world and to themselves that they still have it in them — “it” being the tools and weapons which are necessary to reign over the bantamweight division and to once again etch their names in history.

They could call it a career, but where’s the fun in that? They’re still at the top of their game and have, in fact, aged like fine wine. They’re beating the next generation of bantamweights and they’re doing so with ease. Their skills have matured beyond measure, and they also have the necessary experience to truly weather the storm and trade the heaviest of blows no matter the circumstances.

And, by the looks of it, there’s a very real possibility that they’ll face off at some point in 2022. The sheer thought of it happening is enough for us to start watering at the mouth. Imagine that: a clash of two such veterans, both incredibly capable, seasoned, technical, and unrelenting in nature.

Better yet, they’re both ranked in the Top 4. To get there, they had to prove their mettle against a couple of “young guns,” and prove it they certainly did. It took T.J. twenty-five minutes to register a win over Cory Sandhagen; Aldo needed just as many to beat a motivated Rob Font.

Both fights were spectacular from start to finish, and if T.J. and Aldo can bring that same kind of zest and fervor to their fight as well — which still might not happen — then it could very well end up being a FOTY candidate!

That, in short, is why we’re all dying to see it happen!

Dillashaw vs. Aldo — What Are the Odds?

Picking a side here feels nigh impossible. Aldo, for instance, has been on an absolute tear. Consecutive wins over Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font speak volumes. And it’s not just the wins that matter but also the fashion in which they were attained: Jose outclassed all three aforementioned fighters with (relative) ease.

He’s somehow still finding ways to blow our minds. He keeps on adding new weapons to his arsenal, and his creativity and ability to improvise are still as present (and dangerous) as ever.

As many have pointed out, there are very few mixed martial artists out there who are as dangerous in a three-round fight as Jose Aldo. Still, in a five-round contest, one would simply have to give Dillashaw the edge. The gap between them is neither large nor insurmountable, but T.J.’s conditioning would probably end up being the biggest differentiator — “probably” being the operative word here.

Regardless of whom you might side with, one thing’s for certain: it’d be a clash of epic proportions!

T.J. Dillashaw!

What’s With the Hold Up?

It seems that the matchmakers are waiting for Yan and Sterling to first duke it out before committing to any kind of decision and, frankly, we’re pretty okay with that. Most folks have seemingly forgotten, but T.J. Dillashaw — prior to getting popped for steroids — was still atop the bantamweight division.

He didn’t lose his belt and that’s an important thing to keep in mind.

Two years later he returned to action and fought in a number one contenders match against Cory Sandhagen — we’re talking about a five-round, twenty-five minute brawl that eventually went his way. Why should he have to go through Jose Aldo as well? Did he not already earn his shot?

We’d all love to see these two legends collide, but it’s not necessarily the best course of action given their respective positions in the bantamweight division. A fight seems inevitable, but it would be fair for Dillashaw to get a crack at the title first before potentially facing off with “Junior.”

“Let’s be honest, I left as a champion. I came back, fought a number one contender after a two-and-a-half-year layoff. I was able to beat him. What else is there for me? Nothing is going to get me up and excited except getting my belt back. That’s my goal. There’s nothing else for me to really set my eyes on,” said Dillashaw in a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

And, well, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

The problem Aldo’s facing — and it’s by no means a simple one to solve — is that he already fought against Petr Yan. And, unfortunately for Jose, it wasn’t all that close. He’ll have to get a few more wins on the board to really convince the matchmakers that things would be any different the second time around.

T.J., on the other hand, can make a much more compelling argument. He’s a number one contender and a former champion who was stripped of his belt; that’s actually way better than the alternative, even though it does come with its own baggage.

Fortunately, a “plan B” of sorts seems to be in the making:

Are There Any Other Options?

Pitting Aldo with Dominick Cruz — a legend of equal reverence — sort of makes sense. It’d be a phenomenal match-up, one that would no doubt result in fireworks.

Dominick’s overall record is quite incredible — he’s only lost three times in his long and storied career. His defeats came at the hands of Urijah Faber (for the WEC featherweight belt), Cody Garbrandt, and Henry Cejudo. The first guy’s a pioneer and a Hall of Fame inductee, the second is an absolute beast (or was, rather), and the third one’s potentially the GOAT.

That’s… quite astonishing. Cruz is still a formidable challenger and an enigmatic one, at that. Few are the fighters who can truly handle his particular set of skills, and it would no doubt be exciting (if not historic) for him to share the Octagon with Aldo.

He might not be as sharp or capable as in the years past — hardly a surprise given his many injuries, most of which were supposed to be career-ending — but he’s still a phenomenal fighter and his most recent wins attest to the fact as well.

Beating Cruz wouldn’t necessarily make Aldo the number one contender, but it would strengthen his case and, by proxy, push him ever closer towards challenging for the title.

Right now, as things stand, Dillashaw certainly is the more alluring option, and even though we’d love to see him engage in a bit of fisticuffs with “Junior,” we’d be remiss if we didn’t say that he’s more deserving of the title shot.

Who’ll get paired up with whom still remains to be seen, but one thing’s for certain: the bantamweight division hasn’t been this darn exciting in years!

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Petar Vukobrat / Author

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