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!

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

This Saturday on February 2nd, the UFC touches down in Fortaleza, Brazil for its second ESPN + fight card. Headlining the card will be a bout between ultra talented and long time bantamweight staples, Raphael Assuncao (27-5) and Marlon Moraes (21-5-1).

This is a rematch of their 2017 fight at UFC 212 that ended in a razor-thin split decision. That fight, however, was only three rounds, they get an extra two this time around to see who the real #1 contender at bantamweight is.

Marlon Moraes made his UFC debut against Assuncao in a losing effort. He has since won his last three straight, his last two by KO in a combined 1:40, over #5 bantamweight Jimmie Rivera, and #7 bantamweight Aljamain Sterling, who had a combined record of 35-3 and had only lost split decisions. Marlon also held the WSOF Bantamweight Championship and would have six title defenses if he didn’t schedule a catchweight fight at 140 lbs right after winning the title, so he, therefore, has five defenses.

Marlon also had a little bit rougher of a start to his career than Assuncao did, going 5-4-1 in his first 10 fights, being finished in all four losses, and has gone 16-1 since. Raphael Assuncao went 9-0 before dropping a majority decision to then top contender Jeff Curran and has gone 18-4 since. However, three of those most recent losses of Assuncao’s were at 145 lbs.

Raphael Assuncao has been on the big stage for quite a while now, going 3-2 in the WEC at featherweight, losing his UFC debut, also at featherweight, then he dropped to bantamweight for his second UFC fight back in 2011, and has been there since. 135 lbs is definitely his home, as he’s gone 11-1 since dropping down, the only loss being to bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw, and also holds a win over him. He’s 1-1 against the champ, and 10-0 otherwise at bantamweight.

I think it’s also safe to say, if Raphael Assuncao wasn’t in the UFC the entire time, he would most likely be a multiple time world champion as well. Their reaches and heights are very similar, both have Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts, and Marlon has a Muay Thai black prajiad (strap/belt). Moraes is more of a proven finisher, with 15 finishes and 6 decisions; Raphael has 14 finishes and 13 decisions, that doesn’t necessarily mean Moraes is better, because Assuncao’s fight IQ is incredibly high.

This is a very interesting rematch and I believe it needed to happen, the winner gets a shot at the belt, according to Dana White.

News: Cerrone calls out Mcgregor, Mcgregor accepts

After a dominating TKO finish over Alexander Hernandez, Donald Cerrone takes the opportunity in his post-fight interview to put the lightweight division on notice.

 

His request was for anyone in the top five of the UFC lightweight division, specifically Conor McGregor. Subsequently, the “Notorious One” fired back at Cerrone via Twitter in the moments after the post fight interview:

With the win over Hernandez, a hungry Donald Cerrone completes his 40th fight under Zuffa and 22nd win by stoppage as he picks up some momentum in the rankings. With such milestones and momentum from his victories in two divisions, time will tell if this call out to the first ever Champ Champ yields results with the UFC brass.

 

Report: Cerrone vs. Hernandez at lightweight confirmed for ESPN card

It is now clear that Donald Cerrone will not be fighting Conor McGregor after all of that speculation as a fight between him and streaking prospect, Alexander Hernandez is now official. Continue reading “Report: Cerrone vs. Hernandez at lightweight confirmed for ESPN card”