England's Ross Pearson is convinced he is close to a title shot in the UFC featherweight division, and he claims his striking is on a par with champion Jose Aldo.
Pearson recently dropped into the 145lb ocean, having previously operated at lightweight, and he made a winning debut against Junior Assuncao.
The Brit is desperate for a return to the Octagon, so that he can prove that he belongs in a title collision with the untouchable Aldo, recognised as one of the top five pound-for-pounders in the world.
Training with bantamweight king Dominick Cruz, Pearson has improved immeasurably over the past 12 months and he is sure he will put on the most tightly contested title bout that Aldo has had to date.
"One of the main reasons I decided to make a home at 145lbs is because I feel I'm one of the biggest, strongest, and most powerful guys in that division," Pearson told Heavy.com.
"There are a lot of guys at 155lbs, whereas at featherweight it is wide open. I can fit right into the top of the division straight away. I'm a bad match-up for anyone there and I come to fight. At 145, I'm the biggest, strongest, nastiest guy in there.
"I think I match up great with Jose Aldo. I have just as good Muay Thai and boxing as he does. Maybe he has the edge in jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but that is what the sport is all about. Going out there and putting on exciting fights.
"I guarantee no one else will stand in his face and fight him the way I will. No one in this division will stand and throw down with Aldo, but I will. I respect him as a fighter and he's doing great things for this division, but I believe I'm the next one in that spot and would love the opportunity to prove it."
What is this Guy smoking? i want some