José Aldo became champion of the WEC and later of the UFC so long ago that it makes us think that he is much more veteran, but at 34 years the ‘King of Rio’ has shown to have a serious aspiration to win the title from the bantamweight currently held by Aljamain Sterling.
The victory against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265 was clear, as was his fight against Chito Vera, it showed that he can counter the momentum and even the fighting conditions that his opponents can offer. Retirement is not close.
During his featherweight reign, he always had a tough enemy at cutting weight. His team considered on more than one occasion going up to lightweight to lessen that situation, no one would have bet that one day he would get down to 135 and stay fit to fight.
But against Munhoz he broke his own record for punches thrown and landed 114 significant hits. After two defeats in his arrival in his new category, it seems that he found his way.
His bantamweight debut was a very close fight against Marlon Moraes, although he fell by split decision, so close that the majority of the public saw him win and the promotion gave him the opportunity for the vacant belt against the imposing Petr Yan, who today awaits his rematch against Sterling, after losing the title by disqualification.
We will have to wait, at least six months to have a new title fight and José says he is ready for any route, these are the options:
The former champion came back after two years and beat Sandhagen in a very high-level fight. It would certainly be a great opportunity to see something again in a five-round main event or as a co-star at a pay-per-view. Ideally, you should take out the new challenger.
For many, the best in the history of the division and has been clear in his idea of fighting as soon as possible, that is why he has denied attractive fights like Chito Vera’s, because he looks for one that puts him at the top of the ranking. Old school fans would be happy with the showdown, as it was part of the conversation since they both ruled their divisions in the WEC.
The Puerto Rican is coming off a great exhibition against Cody Garbrandt and is waiting for a fight that will convince the UFC of his deserves to the championship. Another fighter with high combat pace and good hands who can put up a winning fight for Aldo in his search for a new opportunity.
It is probably the least attractive and most dangerous fight right now. Sadhagen has a very dangerous variety in attack, which has been enough for impressive knockouts against opponents of the stature of Marlon Moraes or Frankie Edgar. He came very close to beating Dillashaw and he is the one who needs the rebound fight for now.