Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC on ESPN+ 2 blew the roof off Northeast Olympic Training Center last Sat. night (Feb. 2, 2019) in Fortaleza, Brazil. Plenty of fighters picked up huge wins, including Marlon Moraes, who likely secured a shot at the Bantamweight title after finishing Raphael Assuncao in the main event (see it).
And Demian Maia, who snapped his three-fight losing streak by choking out Lyman Good in the very first round (highlights). But who picked up perhaps the biggest win of the night?
Going into his co-main event Featherweight bout against Renato Moicano, Aldo -- the former longtime 145-pound kingpin — was going in as the underdog, something he isn’t accustomed to. He was also riding high after a knockout win over the hard-hitting Jeremy Stephens in his last outing. This time around he was facing a man who once idolized him but was determined to make a name for himself at his expense.
Aldo obviously had other plans.
After a back-and-forth close first round, Aldo stepped on the gas in the second frame, blitzing Moicano with a striking attack that was thrown with full force, as you can see the determination and anger in Aldo’s pace, taking it to Moicano after rocking him with some clean shots. After clipping him with a nice knee to the chin (see it), Aldo kept the onslaught going up until the official on duty decided to put an end to the punishment.
In a case of deja-vu, Aldo jumped out of the cage to celebrate with his fans in his home country, just like he did after knocking out Chad Mendes at UFC 142. It was a great sight to see, one that was noticed by combatants very familiar with Jose such as Max Holloway and of course, Conor McGregor.
That is now two straight dominant performances from “Junior,” who is finding his groove once again after suffering back-to-back losses to current champion, Max Holloway. Speaking of which, in the last decade, Jose’s only losses have come to either Holloway and McGregor, so it’s not like he’s coming up short to second-rate fighters.
With only two more fights remaining on his MMA career based on these statements, Aldo is determined to fulfill them this year, all in Brazil. And since he doesn’t want to be “stuck” with a UFC belt, it only makes sense to send him off in style with intriguing fights.
Brian Ortega seemed to take interest in a showdown after the fight, and a rematch between he and McGregor isn’t out of the realm of possibility. But since “Notorious” and Donald Cerrone seem to be on a collision course, I can really see the promotion booking Aldo vs Ortega. Like Aldo, Brian’s last loss came at the hands of Holloway.
If Jose can take out the young lion, it could set up one final payday fight against McGregor in Brazil. That will give him the chance to even the score and ride off into the sunset with one of the biggest wins — and paychecks — of his career. Going out with those four straight wins would be a true fairy tale ending for the Brazilian legend.
Even if he doesn’t retire as champion.
For complete UFC Fortaleza results and and play-by-play coverage click here.