Another Sunday, another Sunday Programming. How's it going brothers?
This weekend was a good one for fight fans. We saw Bellator for the last time in 2021, and their year ended with a bang. Or more specifically, a spinning backfist for the ages, landed by Bellator bantamweight champion Sergio Pettis onto Rizin bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi.
While I want to focus on the main event of UFC Vegas 44, I think it is important to note how tremendous that victory was for Pettis, Bellator, and MMA as a whole (in my opinion). Losing the fight on points but still throwing, it was in the 4th round that Pettis struck, completely negating the tough Horiguchi's strong performance in the previous three rounds. It is rare to see such a technique, and especially rare in this case, where the victor was behind on points.
The thing that was especially rare about that fight between Pettis and Horiguchi is the fact that each participant was from a different MMA organization. I would like to see more of this cross promotional battle. The UFC did it many years ago when they allowed for Chuck Liddell to fight in Pride FC, where he had a mixed run. Just imagine all the matchups that could be made if MMA organizations can work together.
UFC Vegas 44 was an action packed show. Clay Guida is back. There were good finishes, like the one Rafael Fizaev scored via a wheel kick versus Matt Riddell. The biggest story is Jose Aldo, the former king of the featherweights, who won a third fight in a row at bantamweight, and I think must be considered a serious contender to challenge Peter Yan.
Aldo won a classic unanimous decision over fellow contender Rob Font, who most recently outpointed former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt. Many were picking Font to defeat Aldo, but by the second round it was clear Aldo enjoyed advantages in strength and technique. En route to winning, Aldo threw hard punches to Font's head and body, knees, took Font's back and nearly choked him. But to Font's credit, he hung in there.
"I want to be a champion in this division and I'm working for that" Aldo said to Daniel Cormier after the bout. "This is the new Aldo. I want to be as complete as I can. Of course we want to fight for the title but we don't know what's going to happen with that. So Dillashaw is right there, just sitting. I want to fight Dillashaw."
Since Aldo lost to Peter Yan, he has beat Marlon Vera, Pedro Munoz and Rob Font. This is a incredible run by Aldo. He has said his dream is to fight for the title once more. He is making it happen by taking on tough challenges and should be rewarded for his efforts with a great match next. Maybe his idea to fight with TJ Dillashaw is the fight to make.
Whatever happens, I am here for it. I've been along for the ride since WEC when Aldo was fighting (and beating) guys like Mike Brown and Uriah Faber for the featherweight championship. It's been a hell of a ride and it's not stopping so soon.
Who do you think Aldo should fight next? TJ Dillashaw? Dominick Cruz? Or somebody different?
Stay safe. Until next time. Have a great week.