Jose Aldo to be Inducted Into UFC’s Hall of Fame

Jose Aldo is head to the Hall…

The 36-year-old Brazilian retired professional mixed martial artist, the longest-reigning featherweight champion in UFC history, will be inducted into the promotion’s Hall of Fame later this year.

Jose AldoAldo retired from the UFC in September, one month after losing to Merab Dvalishvili in a highly ranked bantamweight fight. Had Aldo won that fight, he might have moved on to fight for a UFC title one more time.

Although he officially retired from MMA and was removed from the UFC’s rankings, Aldo has left the door open to competing in a boxing match.

Born in Manaus, Brazil, Aldo rose to 145-pound superiority in the WEC, where he won his first major championship by knocking out Mike Brown in 2009. He defended the title twice before the UFC brought the division into its fold and crowned Aldo its first-ever featherweight champ.

Aldo (31-8) won 18 consecutive fights from 2006 to 2014 and defended the UFC featherweight title a record seven times. His championship run came to a close in 2015, when he suffered a stunning 13-second knockout to rival Conor McGregor. He reclaimed the title seven months later by defeating Frankie Edgar, but lost it a second time in his next fight to Max Holloway.

Still widely considered the greatest featherweight of all time, Aldo dropped to the 135-pound bantamweight division in 2019 to try to win a second belt. He challenged Petr Yan for the vacant belt in 2020 but lost via fifth-round TKO.

Aldo joins the UFC Hall of Fame’s “modern wing” of fighters that includes Forrest GriffinBJ PennUrijah FaberRonda RouseyMichael BispingRashad EvansGeorges St-PierreKhabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier.

Brandon Moreno Defeats Deiveson Figueiredo by TKO to Reclaim UFC Flyweight Title

Brandon Moreno has come away the champion in UFC’s first-ever tetralogy.

The 29-year-old Mexican professional professional mixed martial artist finished Deiveson Figueiredo in their fourth meeting in a span of 25 months.

Brandon Moreno A cageside physician waved off the flyweight title fight before the start of the fourth round, after Figueiredo’s right eye closed from swelling caused by a Moreno left hook. The 125-pound title unification bout co-headlined UFC 283 inside Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

The finish was somewhat unfortunate, in that such an important fight was stopped due to injury, but the injury was clearly caused by a legal punch from Moreno.

Figueiredo (21-3-1) reached for the right eye immediately after Moreno landed the left hook, protesting what he thought might have been an eye poke. The punch had a devastating effect on the Brazilian. He fell to his back shortly after the shot and spent the rest of the round in a defensive mode off his back. The eye was badly swollen and bloodied.

Moreno (21-6-2) was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage: 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27. He out-landed Figueiredo in total strikes 85 to 24 and had 6:52 of control time compared to just 35 seconds for Figueiredo.

The victory closes out the first tetralogy in UFC history. The two first met in December 2020, when Moreno fought Figueiredo to a draw as a massive underdog. Moreno won the rematch in June 2021, before dropping a close decision in the third fight last January.

Immediately following the loss, Figueiredo, 35, said he intended to move up to the 135-pound division.

Moreno mixed up his offensive attacks well, although Figueiredo did force him to defend dangerous submission attempts in the first and second rounds. Figueiredo caught him in a guillotine in the opening seconds of the fight, and again with the same submission in the second round. He also looked for a heel hook at the end of the first round.

Moreno showed good composure in enemy territory, however, and started to find his range with left hooks to the body and head. The doctor’s stoppage result was the first time that has happened in a UFC title fight since Max Holloway defeated Brian Ortega in a featherweight title bout in 2018.

Jorge Masvidal to Fight Colby Covington in Headlining Welterweight Bout in March

Jorge Masvidal is returning to the Octagon in March…

The 37-year-old Cuban and Peruvian American professional mixed martial artist will headline UFC 272, in a welterweight grudge match against Colby Covington, on March 5, UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell has announced.

Jorge MasvidalWhile contracts haven’t been signed yet for the 170-pound scrap, the bout is nearly finalized, per Campbell.

The UFC 272 pay-per-view will take place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The match will be a five-round, nontitle bout.

“He better f—ing show up,” Covington said in a text message to ESPN Tuesday.

The UFC originally targeted featherweight and bantamweight title fights for the event, however those bouts are no longer on the March 5 date. Part of that was due to an injury to featherweight challenger Max Holloway.

Masvidal (35-15) is one of the UFC’s most popular figures. He hasn’t fought since he suffered a knockout loss to Kamaru Usman in a welterweight championship fight at UFC 261 last April.

Masvidal’s past two fights have been against Usman. He also lost to the champ via unanimous decision in July 2020.

Covington (16-3) is also coming off a failed title bid against Usman in his last fight. The 33-year-old also has lost twice to Usman, both via decision. His most recent win came against Tyron Woodley in September.

Masvidal and Covington trained together at American Top Team in South Florida, and even lived together for a period of time. The two had a falling out in 2018, and Covington left ATT in 2020.

Both welterweights still fight out of the Miami area.

Yair Rodriguez In Final Talks to Fight Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night in November

Yair Rodriguez is thisclose to returning to the Octagon

The UFC is finalizing a featherweight matchup between the 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist and former champion Max Holloway.

Yair Rodriguez

Rodriguez and Holloway would headline an event on November 13, according to ESPN.

Contracts haven’t been signed, but the bout is expected to become official shortly.

It will serve as the main event of a UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Yair Rodriguez

The 145-pound contest was originally supposed to take place on July 17 in Las Vegas; however, Holloway was forced to pull out due to injury. Rather than book Rodriguez another opponent, the UFC elected to keep the matchup intact until Holloway made a recovery.

According to sources, Holloway accepted the date this week.

Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since he defeated Jeremy Stephens via decision in October 2019. He was booked to fight Zabit Magomedsharipov in August 2020, but was forced to pull out because of an injury. The Mexican featherweight has only fought three times in the last three years, but is still the UFC’s No. 3-ranked featherweight.

Holloway (22-6) is already viewed as the division’s No. 1 contender. The former champion lost his title to current champion Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision in December 2019. The bout was razor close, and the two fought again in July 2020. Volkanovski won again, by split decision in a bout many observers felt Holloway won.

The 29-year-old Hawaiian fought Calvin Kattar in January, and delivered arguably one of the best performances in UFC history. He defeated Kattar via unanimous decision, and landed 445 total strikes in the process.

The winner of the November bout is virtually guaranteed a title shot.

Yair Rodriguez Reportedly Fighting Max Holloway in UFC Fight Night This Summer

It looks like Yair Rodriguez will be heading back to the Octagon this summer…

The UFC is finalizing plans for a featherweight matchup between the 28-year-old Mexican professional mixed martial artist and Max Holloway for July, according to UFC president Dana White.

 

Yair Rodriguez

Contracts haven’t been signed, but the UFC is close to finalizing the 145-pound contest, according to ESPN. Once official, it is expected to headline a UFC Fight Night event on July 17 at a location to be announced, sources said.

Rodriguez (13-2) has not fought since he earned a decision victory againsJeremy Stephens in October 2019. He was scheduled to fight last August, but withdrew due to injury.

Rodriguez, of Chihuahua, Mexico, is 8-1 in the UFC overall. His only loss came in 2017 to former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Holloway (22-6), a former UFC featherweight champion, is coming off arguably one of the greatest performances in UFC history in January. He landed a UFC record 445 total strikes in a five-round decision win over Calvin Kattar at the beginning of the year on Fight Island.

Fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii, Holloway, 29, is already considered in line for a 145-pound title shot, but the division is currently on a bit of a hold, as current champion Alexander Volkanovski is expected to face Brian Ortega at some point in the second half of 2021. With no title fight available, Holloway elected to remain active.

Brian Ortega to Fight Chan Sung Jung in UFC Fight Night Event in October

Brian Ortega has lined up his next opponent…

The 29-year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist will fight Chan Sung Jung in a highly anticipated featherweight bout, according to ESPN.

Brian Ortega

The 145-pound contest will headline UFC Fight Night on October 17 at a to-be-determined location.

The fight was originally supposed to take place in December in Jung’s native South Korea, but Ortega was forced to withdraw because of a knee injury. Jung ended up staying on the card and knocking out former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Ortega and Jung have gone back and forth on social media seemingly ever since.

Earlier this year, Ortega was involved in a brief public scuffle with one of Jung’s friends, rapper Jay Park, at a UFC event in Las Vegas. Ortega later apologized for the incident.

Milenio.com first reported the featherweight fight’s date.

Ortega (14-1) hasn’t fought since he challenged then-champion Max Holloway for the UFC championship in December 2018. Ringside physicians stopped the fight after the fourth round due to damage to Ortega’s face. It was the first loss of the 29-year-old’s professional career.

Jung (16-5) has been on a tear since returning from a four-year absence from the sport to serve in the South Korea military. He is 3-1 since coming back, with first-round knockouts of Dennis BermudezRenato Moicano and Edgar. His only loss came in November 2018 to Yair Rodriguez, in which he was knocked out in the final second of a bout he was leading on the scorecards.

Ricardo Lamas to Face Ryan Hall in UFC Fight Night Next Month

Ricardo Lamas headed back to the Octagon…

The featherweight bout between the 38-year-old Mexican and Cuban American mixed martial artist and former UFC title challenger and Ryan Hall has been rebooked for a UFC Fight Night event on August 29, according to ESPN.

Ricardo Lamas

The 145-pound contest was originally scheduled to take place in May in Oklahoma City, but the event was scrapped because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The UFC has since picked up a consistent schedule, hosting six events in six weeks at its Apex facility in Las Vegas. The promotion is preparing to host four events this month at “Fight Island,” in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Lamas (19-8) has lost three of his past four contests, but all three of the losses were to highly ranked opposition in Calvin KattarMirsad Bektic and Josh Emmett. He fought Jose Aldo for the UFC championship in 2014, and also has faced the likes of Max HollowayChad Mendes and Charles Oliveira over the course of his career.

Hall (8-1), of Falls Church, Virginia, has fought only four times since making his UFC debut in 2015. The submission specialist has had difficulty booking opponents at times, but holds wins against former lightweight champion B.J. Penn and title challenger Gray Maynard. He is 4-0 inside the Octagon.