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Steve Cofield

Could TUF 12 produce Aldo's best future challenge?

Steve Cofield

The search is on for the man who can take down UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo. Could it be someone dropping down from the UFC's 155-pound division like Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson or Tyson Griffin? Maybe it's a young gun from the soon-to-be-dissolved WEC like Chad Mendes or Josh Grispi. Want an even wackier notion? What if it's someone from the lightweight class on Season 12 of "The Ultimate Fighter"?

Now that you've stopped laughing, remember the guy who appears to be the favorite to win this thing, Jonathan Brookins, already fought Aldo. Back in WEC 36, Brookins fighting down at featherweight made it to the third round against the guy many people think is a top-five pound-for-pounder.

Brookins' fought with an extremely flawed gameplan and never figured out how to check Aldo's kicks. That said, he showed off a great chin and landed plenty of hard jabs. He pulled off a beautiful throw late in the first round but couldn't maintain the position. Maybe it's a different fight if he stays more dedicated to his grappling against Aldo.

Now that he's worked with better trainers, couldn't the lanky Brookins be a handful for the top fighters at 145?

Brookins faces Kyle Watson in one semifinal Wednesday night while Nam Phan squares off with Michael Johnson on Spike (9 p.m. ET/PT).

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