Jose Aldo Defeats Rob Font Via Unanimous Decision to Keep Bantamweight Title Hopes Alive

Jose Aldo continues his quest for a title in a new division.

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, arguably the greatest featherweight of all time with a résumé good enough to put him on the short list of the best MMA fighters ever, defeated the up-and-coming Rob Font via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) in the main event of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Jose Aldo,Aldo rocked Font several times with right hands, hurt his legs with hard kicks and damaged him with hooks to the body. He looked like the Aldo of old while also mixing in some new wrinkles as a bantamweight, such as superior grappling.

“I want to be a champion in this division, and I’m working toward that,” Aldo said through an interpreter in his post-fight interview. “Nobody is gonna stop me.”

Coming in, ESPN had Font ranked No. 5 and Aldo No. 6 in the world at 135 pounds. Aldo said afterward he’d like a title shot next, but the situation is a bit messy.

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been out since March following neck surgery and is likely to face Petr Yan, the former champion and current interim titleholder, to unify the titles. Yan lost the title to Sterling when he was disqualified for an illegal knee at UFC 259 on March 6.

In lieu of a chance at the title, Aldo had another proposition: former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw, who beat Cory Sandhagen over the summer in his return from a two-year doping suspension. Dillashaw is currently recovering from knee surgery.

“Dillashaw is right there,” Aldo said. “Let me fight Dillashaw.”

The fight Saturday was a story of volume versus power. Font had a lot of success with his boxing, especially early on and with his jab. But Aldo was mostly unfazed by the blows. Meanwhile, Aldo rocked or dropped Font in every round except for the third. Font had moments but never hurt Aldo the way Aldo hurt him.

Aldo nearly finished Font in the fourth and fifth rounds. The fifth was the closest. Font knew he was down on the cards and was coming forward looking for a stoppage victory. But Aldo lit him up with a right cross and dropped him. Aldo followed with shots on the ground, took Font’s back and nearly had a choke locked in. Font, though, survived until the bell.

Aldo’s two takedowns were the first ones of his five-fight bantamweight run in UFC, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

“I’m gonna be standing up, I’m gonna be going to the ground,” Aldo said. “I want to be all-around. This is the new Aldo you see.”

Aldo (31-7) held the UFC/WEC featherweight title for parts of six years (2009-15), including seven title defenses, a record in that division. The Brazil native moved down to bantamweight in 2019. He lost his first two fights there, including a vacant title bout against Yan. But Aldo has won three straight and looked very good in wins over contenders Pedro Munhoz and Marlon “Chito” Vera before Saturday.

This is Aldo’s first three-fight winning streak since his 18-fight winning streak was broken in 2015 by Conor McGregor. He cashed as a +125 underdog Saturday, marking just the seventh time he was an underdog in his UFC career.

Font (19-5) had a four-fight winning streak snapped. Most recently before Saturday, he took home a unanimous-decision win over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. The Massachusetts native had not lost since 2018. Font, 34, sports a 9-4 UFC record and looked better than ever since returning from knee surgery last year.

“The guy is a legend,” Font said of Aldo. “He’s tough, man. I feel like I can beat him, but it just wasn’t my night. Hats off to him. … I just went five rounds with one of the legends of the sport. I’m gonna get better off this, for sure.”

Jose Aldo to Fight Rob Font in Main Event of December UFC Fight Night

Jose Aldo is ready for his next Octagon appearance…

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional mixed martial artist, a former longtime UFC and WEC featherweight champion, will meet the surging Rob Font in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card on December 4 in Las Vegas.

Jose Aldo

The bout was first mentioned by MMA reporter Ariel Helwani on Spotify Greenroom and the date was first reported by Brazilian outlet Combate.

ESPN has Font ranked No. 5 in the world at bantamweight and Aldo at No. 6. The winner would be in pole position for a potential title opportunity, though the division is waiting for the return of champion Aljamain Sterling from neck surgery. Sterling withdrew from a title rematch with former champ Petr Yan at UFC 267 on October 30, and Yan will now fight Cory Sandhagen in an interim title bout.

Aldo (30-7) has won two straight after falling in a title fight to Yan at UFC 251 in July 2020. The Brazilian striker is coming off a unanimous decision win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265 last month. Aldo is one of the most decorated former champions in MMA history. He was the first UFC featherweight champion and took the title from WEC into the UFC, a span of six years. Aldo has the most title defenses in UFC featherweight history (7).

Font (19-4) has won four straight and five of his last six bouts. The Massachusetts native is coming off a unanimous decision win over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt in May. Font, 34, sports a 9-3 UFC record.

Marlon “Chito” Vera to Fight Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 in November

Marlon “Chito” Vera may be returning to the Octagon this fall…

The UFC is targeting a bantamweight matchup between the 28-year-old Ecuadorian mixed martial artist and Frankie Edgar for UFC 268 on November 6, according to ESPN.

Marlon “Chito” Rivera

Contracts haven’t been signed, but both sides have verbally agreed to the matchup. The pay-per-view event is expected to take place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Vera (19-7-1) is riding some momentum, coming off a decision win over Davey Grant in June. He is 2-1 in his past three, including wins over Grant and Sean O’Malley. His loss in that stretch was to former featherweight champion Jose Aldo. He is 7-2 over his past nine.

A former lightweight champion, Edgar (24-9) is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in February. A longtime lightweight and featherweight, Edgar has now competed in the UFC’s 135-pound division twice. He is 1-1, with a five-round decision win over Pedro Munhoz in August.

Edgar, 39, fights out of Toms River, New Jersey. This will mark his first fight in New York since 2016 and only the third overall of his storied career.

A welterweight title fight between Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington is slated to headline the UFC 268 event.

Marlon Moraes to Reportedly Fight Rob Font at Final UFC Fight Night of the Year

Marlon Moraes is hoping to prove the comeback is bigger than the setback…

The 32-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a former UFC bantamweight title challenger, will take on Rob Font at a UFC Fight Night event in Las Vegas on December 19.

Marlon Moraes 

The UFC hasn’t officially announced the 135-pound bout, but ESPN sources confirmed have confirmed that both sides have agreed to it. MMAJunkie first reported the matchup and date.

It’s a quick turnaround for Moraes (23-7-1), who just suffered a second-round knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a UFC event October 10 on “Fight Island.”

Moraes fought for the UFC title in June 2019, but came up short in a TKO loss to Henry Cejudo. He is 2-1 in his past three bouts, with the win coming against Jose Aldo via split decision.

Font (14-4), of Boston, will be looking for the biggest win of his career. He has been a mainstay in the UFC’s rankings for a while, but has come up short in key matchups against John LinekerPedro Munhoz and Raphael Assuncao. He is 7-3 overall in the UFC.

The UFC hasn’t yet announced a main event for the UFC Fight Night, which will mark the final UFC event of 2020.

José Aldo to Fight Petr Yan for the UFC Bantamweight Title

José Aldo is staking his claim on a new title…

The 33-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist and UFC fighter is set to fight Petr Yan for the bantamweight title at UFC 251 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Jose Aldo

Aldo (28 – 6 – 0), whose full name is José Aldo da Silva Oliveira Júnior, was the fourth and final WEC featherweight champion, becoming the first UFC featherweight champion after the UFC/WEC merger. 

He’s a former three-time UFC featherweight champion overall, having been the undisputed champion twice and the interim champion once. As of June 30, 2020, he is #6 in the UFC bantamweight rankings.

Yan (14 – 1 – 0) ranks No. 3 in the UFC bantamweight rankings. He formerly fought in Absolute Championship Berkut where he became the bantamweight champion and defended his belt before signing an offer with Ultimate Fighting Championships.

UFC 251 will take place on Saturday, July 11 at 9:00 pm at UFC Fight Island.

Henry Cejudo Announces Retirement Moments After Defending 135-Pound UFC Title

Henry Cejudo  is walking away a winner…

The 33-year-old mixed martial artist, a two-weight UFC champion and former Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler, defended his 135-pound title for the first time on Saturday night, defeating Dominick Cruz (22-3) via TKO at 4 minutes, 58 seconds of the second round at UFC 249at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo (16-2) shocked the mixed martial arts world moments later when he announced he doesn’t intend to fight again.

“I’m happy with my career,” Cejudo said. “I’ve done enough in the sport. I want to walk away and enjoy myself. I’m 33 years old. I have a girl now, watching me from back home. Since I was 11, I’ve sacrificed my life to get to where I was tonight. I’m retiring tonight. Uncle Dana [UFC president Dana White], thank you. Everybody here, thank you so much.”

White appeared on SportsCenter later Saturday and said he wasn’t surprised by Cejudo’s announcement.

“It really didn’t shock me,” he said. “Cejudo has been talking about retirement to us for months. I’m of the belief that if you’re talking about retirement in the fight business, you should probably retire.”

Before leaving the cage, Cejudo declared himself the best combat-sports athlete of all time. His only two losses in MMA came against Demetrious Johnson, the longest-reigning flyweight champion in UFC history, and Joseph Benavidez. Cejudo avenged his loss to Johnson two years after the first meeting.

If this does prove to be Cejudo’s final appearance, it was an impressive one. 

Cruz hadn’t fought in 1,226 days because of injury, but he was still widely recognized coming in as the greatest bantamweight of all time.

Cejudo’s longtime head coach, Eric Albarracin, told ESPN that he believed Cejudo was still “in his prime.”

“I only think he’s getting better. It’s a somber moment, when someone retires in his prime,” Albarracin said. “I understand it, though. We’ve been on a hell of a run. I’ve been with him since 2004. He’s gotten it done. Every goal we’ve ever set, he’s accomplished. He’s beaten every legend they set in front of him.”

Albarracin said “there was something a little bit off this week” with Cejudo.

“I was trying to figure it out, but I couldn’t put my finger on it,” Albarracin said. “I was ready to have him call out Jose AldoAlex Volkanovski and Conor McGregor after this fight, and he told me no. I think if Dana White were to add another zero to his paycheck, he’d have a hard time not coming back, but maybe he just does want to move on.”

Cejudo appeared to echo Albarracin’s point, saying at his postfight news conference, “I really do want to walk away, but money talks.”

The second-round finish came after Cejudo badly hurt Cruz with a right knee to the temple. Cejudo immediately pounced on him and dropped a hard right hand and a series of unanswered left hands until referee Keith Peterson stopped the bout. It is the first knockout loss of Cruz’s 15-year professional career.

“I’m ruthless,” Cejudo said. “I may be cringe-y, corny — but boy, can I fight.”

Coming into this weekend, ESPN ranked Cejudo the No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Aldo Retains UFC Featherweight Champion Title

Make that 15-straight for José Aldo

The 26-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist defeated Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 156 over the weekend to retain his featherweight champion title.

Jose Aldo

Aldo used his precise striking and effective leg kicks to counter the constant pressure from the former lightweight champion, winning a unanimous decision for his 15th consecutive victory.

“I’m very happy and I don’t plan to lose my belt any time soon,” said Aldo through a translator after beinh hailed the winner.

Aldo looked solid in the first three rounds, controlling the fight and landing the more significant strikes. Edgar pressed forward in the final two periods, trying to spark a change in momentum, but the Brazilian champion was too elusive.

The judges’ scores were 49-46, 49-46 and 48-47 in favor of Aldo, who improved to 22-1. Edgar fell to 15-4-1.

“It was a very difficult fight,” said Aldo. “Frankie is a very dangerous fighter and I had to take it step by step.”

Aldo remains among the UFC’s top handful of pound-for-pound fighters despite a 13-month absence from the cage caused by a series of injuries. His kicks are among the most vicious in MMA, and his overall agility in the cage can be stunning to opponents and fans alike.

Edgar was trying to become the third UFC fighter to win a title in two different weight classes.

“It was a close fight, I keep finding myself in these positions,” he said. “I’m just going to go home and take some time to think about things.”