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UFC 245: Moraes v Aldo

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Robbery Rewind: Marlon Moraes vs. Jose Aldo

Be kind and rewind with us ...

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Fight Island” remains stuck in the realm of the hypothetical and there’s only so much content we can squeeze out of Twitter feuds, so now’s the perfect time to look back on the decisions that got everyone’s undergarments of choice in a bunch. Welcome back to “Robbery Rewind,” where we look at piles of smoldering ash and dump kerosene on them.

This time around, we’re looking at a fight that somehow propelled its loser to a title shot.

Marlon Moraes vs. Jose AldoUFC 245

Marlon Moraes v Jose Aldo Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Judges’ scores: 29-28 Moraes, 29-28 Aldo, 29-28 Moraes

MMAmania’s score: 29-28 Moraes
MMA media scores: 29-28 Moraes (50 percent) / 29-28 Aldo (50 Percent)

The mixed martial arts (MMA) public was more than a little skeptical when Jose Aldo, whose struggles with the Featherweight limit have dogged him since his Octagon debut, announced his intention to debut at 135 pounds against recent title challenger Marlon Moraes. Surprisingly, he looked fit as a fiddle on the scales and managed to maintain his pace for a full 15 minutes against “Magic.” While he didn’t get the victory, Dana White elected to give him next crack at Henry Cejudo at UFC 250, only for “Scarface” to withdraw (details).

Did he deserve it?

Round One: Moraes opened with a clean switch kick to the temple that wobbled Aldo. Good head movement kept Aldo away from the follow-up shots. Things stayed tentative for a bit until Aldo landed a nice counter right. Moraes answered with a left hand. Lots of pressure from Aldo, no real connections either way ... two-three combination from Moraes. Then another, this one from orthodox. Aldo stalked after him, directly into a pair of left hands. Low kick to straight left from Moraes. Aldo connected with another right cross early in the last minute and looked to press the advantage, landing another right but getting slung to the mat into half guard.

10-9 Moraes. The head kick visibly hurt Aldo more than Aldo’s right hands hurt Moraes, and Aldo had practically no offense from the end of the first minute to the start of the fifth. All three judges agreed that the late surge wasn’t enough to turn the tide.

Round Two: The second round opened with a jab battle, plus a counter right from Moraes. Moraes jabbed, then ripped the body with a two-piece. Aldo began targeting the body with his jab. Heavy low-high combo, capped off by an uppercut. He continued to force Moraes back with his jab, ultimately answering a jab with a nasty cross counter. Moraes landed a counter of his own soon after as they slugged it out. A good right hand to the body started the fourth minute. Aldo blocked a wheel kick, looked for the body as the final minute approached. A flying knee didn’t land, but a right hand to the body and an uppercut did. Good exchange in the center. Moraes managed to snap his head back in the last 20 seconds with a left hand, then a jab as he angled out in the last few seconds.

10-9 Aldo, and all the judges agreed. Aldo landed some heavy, eye-catching combinations, while Moraes had to make do with one good counter and a pair of stiff lefts late in the round. Moraes simply did not do nearly enough.

Round Three: Pivotal round, and the source of all the controversy. Aldo landed a heavy right cross in the opening seconds, but got raked by a hook in return. Double jab landed for Moraes. Aldo tried a lead hook, then jabbed the body. Then came a lull of no real connections; two minutes in and it was neck-and-neck. Moraes attempted a lead hook, avoided a jab. Shifting left hand landed for him, met by a pair of glancing jabs and a flying knee attempt. Going into the last two minutes, Moraes appeared to have taken a slight lead. Aldo soon found the mark with a glancing right hand that Joe Rogan absurdly claimed “stunned” Moraes, then a pull-back counter. Moraes came back with an overhand right, the cleanest punch from either man since the first minute. Then a low kick connected for him, followed by a clean straight left. Aldo responded by stuffing a takedown and landing a knee to the chest before eating a left hook on the break. He tried a flying knee and right cross around the 10 second mark, then backed off at the bell.

10-9 Moraes. This one split the judges and the public, but if you look at the last two minutes, they’re almost all Moraes. The overhand right, the low kick, the straight left, and the left hook on the break were more significant than Aldo’s knee to the chest and right hand after the failed flying knee. Aldo did not have enough, if any, of an edge in the first three minutes to counteract that.

Final Score: 29-28 Moraes

Robbery? No, clear Moraes first round, clear Aldo second round, 70/30-ish third round for Moraes. Aldo’s stalking and the announcers praise gave the impression that “Scarface” did more than he actually did in that final round; he had at most three clean connections in the last three minutes, compared to some very solid blows from Moraes. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but by the unified rules of MMA, Marlon Moraes took the third round and the fight.

Poll

Who deserved the win?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Marlon Moraes
    (160 votes)
  • 60%
    Jose Aldo
    (240 votes)
400 votes total Vote Now
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