Jose Aldo is one win away from having 14 straight victories while fighting inside the UFC/WEC octagons. He's the reigning UFC 145lb champ, got nine knockouts to his credit throughout that time, has defeated three former champions and a future TUF winner, and a slew of elite featherweights as well. The man's bonafides are as solid as they come.
With all of that said, should Aldo beat Ricardo Lamas on Saturday (or whichever day the Super Bowl decides the card should be held), his leap up lightweight to challenge the injured champion Anthony Pettis will be seemingly unobstructed. UFC president Dana White has endorsed it several times, and is ready for the super fight to happen. So are legions of fans. Hardcore fans who will finagle some cash from their friends to purchase the pay-per-view at a viewing party. While the fight is super attractive, it is only because of the sum of their parts, not the two fighters separately.
Anthony Pettis, the current lightweight champ, is already a household name ready to bust out. His flashy style of striking, versatile ground game, and killer instinct (along with a touching story outside the cage) resonate very well with the casual fan. Add onto the fact that the Showtime Kick was on Sportscenter and is perhaps the most looked up MMA highlight ever, and Pettis is set. He is the heir apparent to BJ Penn's lightweight stardom.
Aldo on the other hand, is taking a little bit longer to become that crossover phenom that his proposed future opponent has already achieved. Aldo speaks little English, which hurts his promotional abilities in the states. He also hasn't had a career foil like Pettis has in Benson Henderson, thus no rivalry to promote. His finishes in the UFC are over an injured Chan Sung Jung and a knee to a green wrestler (at the time) in Chad Mendes. So, the majority of highlight reel of knockouts have the blue canvas of the WEC, and thus a stigma of "Not Quite the UFC" to the casual fan.
The fight will be a super fight in terms of the skill levels of both competitors, but Jose Aldo will need a significant push in terms of promotion to be on the level of the Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva, or Jon Jones and Anderson Silva. More exposure is needed to make the super fight interest more than just the sum of its parts, but also to have interest in both of the combatants.