Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the hurt business last night (Sat., Feb. 2, 2019) by stage UFC on ESPN+ 2: “Assuncao vs Moraes 2” inside Northeast Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, Brazil. In the headlining act, Marlon Moraes got some sweet revenge on Raphael Assuncao by submitting him in the very first round (highlights). In the co-headlining act, Jose Aldo continued his run by knocking out Renato Moicano in the second round (see it).
Biggest Winner: Marlon Moraes
It wast close race for biggest winner, but “Magic” earned the top honors for a few reasons. Aside from getting one back on the man who spoiled his Octagon debut, Moraes upped his win streak to three and cemented himself as the clear-cut No. 1 contender at Bantamweight. He also gave UFC plenty to think about, as “Magic’s” dominate performance may have halted any potential ideas of having current Flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo, come up to 135 pounds to challenge TJ Dillashaw for the title after he knocked him in half a minute a few weeks ago.
Furthermore, that could force UFC’s hand in finally making a decision regarding the Flyweight division. If Marlon is granted the title shot, that means Cejudo would need another title fight at 125 pounds in the interim. Either way, Marlon is sitting pretty as the clear front-runner for a fight against Dillashaw.
Runner Up: Jose Aldo
The former UFC Featherweight champion showed he isn’t as out of the mix as many believed, putting together his second straight dominate outing after knocking out Renato Moicano in two. Prior to that, “Junior” slept Jeremy Stephens in the very first round seven months prior.
When you look back on it, Aldo’s only losses in the last 12 years have only come to current division champion Max Holloway, and ex-champion Conor McGregor. Jose is adamant he’s going to end his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the end of 2019, and he’s determined to close out his storied career with a bang. And judging by his last two performances, we are in for more vintage Aldo performances in the coming months.
Biggest Loser: Renato Moicano
Be careful what you wish for, because you might just get it. Renato repeatedly asked for a showdown against Jose Aldo in order to prove his worth and climb the 145-pound ladder a bit faster. While bold and respectable for calling out one of the best to ever do it, the plan ultimately backfired on Renato after getting blitzed by a barrage of strikes from the longtime veteran to end his night on the feet.
Unfortunately for Renato, his momentum has once again been halted right as he was on the cusp of putting himself right in the championship mix with a huge win. Brian Ortega handed him his first loss a couple years ago, and after dusting himself and collecting two big wins, Moicano ran into a resurgent Aldo, sending him to the back of the line once again. On the bright side, he is still only 29 years old, so he has plenty of time to get another streak going. Still, not capitalizing on the chance to get a big win over Aldo will haunt him for a while, as he won’t ever get that fight again.
For complete UFC Fortaleza results and coverage click here.