Former two-time UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (27-4) is set to square off next against fast-rising talent and fellow Brazilian, Renato Moicano (13-1-1) on February 2nd in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Headlining the card will be a rematch between top bantamweights Raphael Assuncao (27-5) and Marlon Moraes (21-5-1). Some may question why they get the spotlight over Aldo and Moicano, but I like this idea.
Firstly, the first fight between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes ended in an incredibly close split decision over the course of three rounds. Now, in case it goes three close rounds again, they’ll have another two to really decide who the number one contender at 135.
Secondly, I like the idea of Jose Aldo in three round fights if he’s not fighting for a belt; dating back to his WEC debut when he was 10-1, he has a finish in every single three-round fight to this day. He hadn’t had a three-round fight scheduled in 8 1/2 years leading up to the Jeremy Stephens fight, and he finished it in just over four minutes. He knows when he’s scheduled for three rounds that he doesn’t have to worry about his cardio. His cardio is always good until after the first three, and he conserves himself almost the entire fight because five rounds have always been tough for him. He knows he can be explosive and go for it whenever he wants now, which makes for an even better, and more exciting Jose Aldo. He would just destroy everyone until they couldn’t take it with beautifully destructive Muay Thai, it was always violent.
Renato Moicano has some Muay Thai of his own, as he is a black belt in it, and is also longer than Aldo; he stands 4” taller and has a 2” reach advantage on him.
Both men are elite level black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but we see much more of a ground game from Moicano. We have seen him submit Tom Niinimaki in his UFC debut, a guy that multiple time world BJJ Champion Rani Yahya couldn’t do when he fought him. His next two bouts seen him take a pair of split decisions, one over highly touted Russian prospect Zuba Tukhugov, and longtime UFC vet Jeremy Stephens; before losing to last weekends featherweight title challenger Brian Ortega, and has since rebounded with a UD victory over Calvin Kattar, and first-round submission over Cub Swanson.
A note to take, Moicano has submitted six of his thirteen opponents, all by rear naked choke; Aldo does have one loss via rear naked choke, however that was over 13 years ago at this point. Aldo does have one submission win, it was via arm triangle but that was even longer ago than his submission loss. Sixteen of his wins are by (T)KO, both men are coming off first-round finishes in common opponents.
Until Aldo’s last win, he was in a real rough patch; losing three of his last four, all by knockout. Getting slept against McGregor, then taking a ton of damage in each Holloway fight, many of us thought Aldo would never be the same. To be KO’d, to have a great rematch with Edgar and make it easier the second time, then losing back-to-back poundings, a lot of us assumed his best days were behind him. Then to come out against Stephens like he did, getting hurt against a guy like that, not quitting and getting the stoppage shortly thereafter, it was the Aldo of old for sure.
This is a very interesting fight, and it’s looking like it’ll be a promising card I’m very excited for this one.