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UFC 129 Results: Jose Aldo Continues Fight for Mainstream Recognition

Photo via <a href="" target="new">MMA Weekly</a>
Photo via MMA Weekly

David St. Martin brings Bloody Elbow readers his thoughts on last night's UFC 129 bout between Jose Aldo and Mark Hominick.

Georges St. Pierre may have been UFC 129's biggest star, but it was Ontario native Mark Hominick who made the biggest impression. In a fight where many pundits - including myself - had seen a dominant win for Jose Aldo as a foregone conclusion, Hominick was able to push the young champion to limits we haven't yet seen. Hominick doesn't seem the type to believe in moral victories, but that fight may be a textbook example of one. His 25 minutes in the cage were the most productive we've seen against Aldo, who has made former champions like Mike Brown and Urijah Faber look like ill-equipped amateurs.

Not to take anything away from Hominick's fantastic showcase of technique and heart, but Jose Aldo just never seemed to find his grove in this fight. Much of that can be attributed to Hominick's consistent work rate, but it's plain to see this wasn't the Aldo we're used to. With a laundry list of unknowns coming into this fight, it's actually none too surprising the fight played out like it did. When you consider the dreaded UFC jitters, a young champion defending a UFC title for the first time, a long injury layoff and a tough weight cut, Aldo's performance starts to take shape.

For the promotion, this was supposed to be Aldo's coming out party. After toiling in smaller shows, it was finally time to make a splash and leave an impression. It didn't happen. In a sport where you're only as good as your last fight, Aldo's legend took a major hit on Saturday night. Gone are his chances of headlining a card by himself. Instead, Dana White & Co. now have to work that much harder to sell a champion to the masses. A point Jonathan Snowden at supports with his article:

It was enough to skate by with a decision. But the idea of headlining a card with Aldo after this debacle has to be thrown out the window - at least for now. Lightweight stars watched Jose Aldo last night and their mouths are likely still watering today. The list of established fighters willing to drop ten pounds to challenge Aldo already includes former 155 pound contender Kenny Florian. After last night it's only going to grow longer. Aldo looked vulnerable, helpless off his back, and quick to tire.

Aldo's seemingly self-imposed reluctance to let the media nibble at him hasn't helped his story be told. If he ever hopes to carry a card as UFC champions are expected to, he will have to popularize himself a bit better with the casual fan. Considering every tool Aldo has at his disposal to be successful, it looks like his greatest obstacles could all be mental.


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