Jose Aldo’s Interesting Drop to 135. TJ Dillashaw Next?

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UFC Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo Drop to Bantamweight

Jose Aldo has won one out of his three bantamweight fights since he dropped down to fight Marlon Moraes. Despite the former featherweight champ’s 1-2 record during his bantamweight run, the results have been better than most would have expected. Aldo first made the drop to fight Marlon Moraes and lost a controversial split decision to conclude the close bout. He would be given the title shot over Moraes after the decision drew the desire of Dana White, who would award the shot at the vacant bantamweight title to Jose Aldo.

Title Bout

After being somewhat controversially awarded a title fight, Aldo would meet current UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 251. The fight was for the title that left vacant when the former champion, Henry Cejudo retired. It was a chance for Aldo to reclaim UFC gold and for Petr Yan to prove himself worthy of the opportunity. Yan would end up proving himself worthy of the bright lights and huge opportunity. On the other side, Aldo would fall short of his goal of reclaiming UFC gold and would now have to start a new and more complicated journey to the title.

Three Fight Losing Streak

Jose Aldo’s bout against Petr Yan wasn’t a completely one-sided affair and proved to fans that he was still competitive. Both men had their moments in the fight nonetheless, Yan would claim victory. Aldo would drop his third fight in a row. With the UFC making roster cuts in the second half of 2020 a three-fight skid is the last place any fighter wants to find themselves. Even with one of the former featherweight king’s losses coming by way of a heavily criticized decision, losing three in a row still put his spot on the roster in jeopardy. With only his legendary status and credible performances in losses protecting his roster spot, Jose Aldo needed to pick up a win.

Marlon Vera Fight

Having dropped three in a row amidst all the roster cuts, Jose Aldo needed a win to secure his spot on the roster and start making his way back to the title. Aldo’s next fight would come against Marlon “Chito” Vera. Chito was coming off a first-round stoppage over the brash and talented prospect Sean O’Malley and carried a lot of intrigues. The fight was competitive and would see Vera being effective in kicking and clinching range during the first two rounds while avoiding head strikes. Aldo would land heavy body strikes throughout the fight and would land a takedown and take the back which he held until the end of the third round to secure the win.

TJ Dillashaw Callout

After the decision for his victory against Marlon Vera, Jose Aldo took to the headset to make a respectful callout of former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. The former champ hasn’t fought since January of 2019 when he was stopped in thirty-two seconds by Henry Cejudo. After the fight the Dillashaw tested positive for EPO (an injectable PED that increases red blood cell count) and was suspended for two years. Now nearing the end of his suspension, Dillashaw will be eligible to return to the UFC octagon in 2021. The potential matchup makes sense as Aldo is a legend coming off of an impressive win and TJ Dillashaw is the disgraced former champ coming off a PED suspension.

Aldo vs Dillashaw Breakdown

The fight itself is an interesting one. Both fighters have well-rounded skillsets and present challenges to one another. I believe it to be unlikely that this fight hits the mat at all. Both fighters have strong wrestling, but I believe their skills will cancel and that this fight will take place on the feet. While I see this fight taking place standing, it is worth noting that Jose Aldo is a BJJ black belt with a knack for finding his opponent’s back. On the feet, this is a great fight. it would be interesting to see if Dillashaw can use his footwork to avoid Aldo’s heavy shots or if the King of Rio will find him with his power.

Takeaway

Given his recent performances at bantamweight, it’s reasonable to say that the featherweight legend, Jose Aldo has some good fights left in the tank. The goal for Aldo at this point would seem to be securing a title rematch with Petr Yan. Having just snapped his losing streak at UFC Vegas 17 in an impressive performance against a very game and skilled Chito Vera, Aldo seeks to get himself back into the title picture at 135. Aldo respectfully asked for a fight with TJ Dillashaw in his post-fight interview after beating Vera. The potential fight seems to make sense and is a great matchup between two consistently exciting fighters looking to get back into the title picture.


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