Analysis: A closer look at the co main event at UFC on ESPN+ 2

This Saturday on February 2nd, we have another clash between two Brazilians, most likely to determine the next title challenger.

Former WEC Featherweight Champion and former two-time UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo (27-4) fighting against none other than the former Interim Jungle Fight Featherweight Champion, Renato Moicano.

Jose Aldo has been in the limelight for years and years now; he became known to many when he fought Urijah Faber in the WEC’s only ever PPV card at WEC 48, or when he made his UFC debut against Mark Hominick at UFC 129, or maybe when Conor McGregor drew more eyes to the sport when he was on the rise, or challenging Aldo. Regardless of how long you’ve known him, he’s been there and done that many times over, while Moicano is still looking for his chance to really break through as the top guy at 145 lbs.

Right after winning the Interim Jungle Fight Featherweight Championship, he made his UFC debut, winning via submission in round two, before picking up a pair of split decisions over Zuba Tukhugov, and Jeremy Stephens in his next two outings. He then had his close and competitive fight with Brian Ortega, up until the stoppage with 91 seconds left on the clock, then won via unanimous decision against Calvin Kattar, and dropped Cub Swanson early with a jab and finished him in the first round a few months later.

Many people were questioning why this isn’t the main event, and when Dana White answered that Aldo did not want a five round fight, many still questioned why that is. Well, for starters, if anyone remembers his WEC days, he went 5-0 in three round fights and won all by knockout. He stopped Mike Brown in his first title fight in round two, he went the distance with Urijah Faber, finished Manny Gamburyan in round two, and had since only had two finishes, one of which was a TKO to an injury, and the other with one second left in round one, where many people dispute whether he would’ve got the finish if he wasn’t grabbing the fence. Point being, he often times won decision after decision as champion, why?

When he has to prepare for a five-round fight, it wears on your body more than preparing for a three-round fight; and the fight itself, he doesn’t have to worry about getting tired. What happened in his first three round fight in nine years? He scored a first-round knockout over an incredibly tough Jeremy Stephens, who had never been finished like that before, ever. He knows he’s always done well in the first three rounds and starts to fade afterwards. If he only has three rounds, he can be more explosive and go for the finish more, and I love that. I miss the old Jose Aldo that’d just destroy everyone with beautifully reckless Muay Thai, during his title reign he stagnated, doing a similar thing that Georges St Pierre did, just beat everyone with the basics, which worked for a while. However, St Pierre used his ground game and striking to beat his opponents, Aldo has only ever really used his striking.

Both of these men have two black belts, Jose Aldo’s in Luta Livre and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Renato Moicano’s in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I think this will mainly be a stand-up fight, but who knows, this is MMA with two of the top featherweights on planet earth. Tune in and enjoy the scrap!

Report: Namajunas returns against Andrade at UFC 237

After a lengthy spell on the sidelines, UFC women’s strawweight champion “Thug” Rose Namajunas will return to the Octagon for her second title defence. She will meet surging contender Jéssica Andrade at UFC 237 in Brazil on May 11th.

The Trevor Wittman protege, Namajunas is still nursing a neck injury, keeping her inactive since her rematch with Polish striker Joanna Jędrzejczyk back in April at UFC 223. She faces a stern welcoming party in the form of Andrade who looks to make good on her second siege of the 115lbs gold.

UFC 217: Jedrzejczyk v Namajunas

Finding huge success since relocating to Colorado, the well rounded Namajunas achieved her life long goal of becoming world champion and has established a considerable fan base off the back of her two wins over Joanna in the process. Namajunas showed her finishing ability with a devastating first-round finish, while the second bout displayed Rose’s grit and determination to iron out a unanimous decision victory.

The Elevation Fight Team product is more than equipped on the feet and even more so when her grappling is called into practice, but her stopping power when compared to Andrade is vastly different.

Up until Jéssica Andrade’s title eliminator with fellow former title challenger Karolina Kowalkiewicz, we had never truly seen an earth shattering stoppage at strawweight. In the premier round, Andrade landed a massive right hand and slept Karolina in brutal fashion.

andrade

She once more grabbed the number one contender spot by adding wins over Tecia Torres and compatriot Cláudia Gadelha to her trail of destruction.

With incredibly heavy hands for her weight and an aggressive approach to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Andrade has posed somewhat of an unsolvable puzzle for those at 115lbs with only the previously mentioned Joanna Jędrzejczyk blemishing her record there since her drop from her previous bantamweight home.

This has all of the makings of a great fight where it will see the technique and creativity of Namajunas pitted against power and aggression of Andrade.