August 4, 2020

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UFC 251 Fighter Profile – Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo

Age: 33

Nationality: Brazilian

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 136 lbs

Arm reach: 70”

Leg reach: 40”

Fighting style: Muay Thai Striker/Jiu-Jitsu Grappler

Primary camp: Nova União – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Current rank: No. 6 in UFC Bantamweight Division

Professional MMA record: 28W – 6L

UFC record: 10W – 5L

Last fight: Loss – split decision vs. Marlon Moraes (UFC 245)

Career overview – how did Jose Aldo get here?

Anyone who has paid the least bit of attention to the UFC over the past 10 years is familiar with Jose Aldo, as he owns one of the more decorated careers in the history of MMA. Aldo began his UFC journey as the inaugural featherweight champion and defended it seven times in a row, blistering through a gauntlet of opponents to retain his belt for nearly five years. Some of his greatest defenses included Chad Mendes, Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar and Kenny Florian. 

Then, a man by the name of Conor McGregor came along. 

Ever since McGregor slept him in just 13 seconds back in 2015, Aldo has endured a roller coaster, going 3-4 in his last seven fights. Granted, those four defeats are nothing to scoff at: two to Max Holloway, one to Alexander Volkanovski and most recently a questionable split decision loss to top-ranked bantamweight contender Marlon Moraes, a wild scrap which many believe Aldo won.

Despite the loss, Aldo’s stellar performance against Moraes prompted Dana White to give him yet another shot at UFC gold on Fight Island. This will be his 12th career championship bout, putting him in a tie with Matt Hughes for the fourth-most title fights in UFC history. 

What makes Jose Aldo so good?

A true mixed martial artist, Aldo is comfortable just about anywhere inside the octagon, but stylistically he’s a striker. The power in his hands coupled with his technical boxing can put any fighter to bed if they don’t keep their guard up. Aldo also has leg kicks from hell, which force his opponents to defend every part of their body while still worrying about the knockout power in his fists.

If you want to take Aldo to the mat, good luck. Over the course of his career, he has a 91% takedown defense rate, which has allowed him to keep fights on the feet and pick his opponents apart with his creative striking. Aldo is a black-belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and even though he doesn’t use it often, he possesses the ability to lock in a submission from just about any position on the ground. 

So how does one beat Jose Aldo?

All three of Aldo’s knockout losses have one thing in common: counter striking. 

When Aldo is calm, composed and technical, he’s essentially unbeatable. However, when he gets caught swinging for the fences it’s usually bad news. Aldo has a tendency to go rogue with his punches, leaving his head open to counter strikes and hooks from the outside. It’s how McGregor beat him, and it’s the method Holloway used to piece him up both times.