Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo did not have the bantamweight debut he expected at UFC 245. After a close three-round battle against fellow Brazilian Marlon Moraes, Aldo ended up on the wrong end of a razor-thin split decision. However, he did not agree with the scorecards at all.
In an interview with Combate, Aldo revealed he expected to have his hand raised after the bout went the distance, and was surprised to find out moments later that only one judge gave him the nod. In Jose’s point of view, he clearly won both the second and third rounds against Marlon.
“When they announced it was a split a decision, I was sure I had won rounds two and three very soundly. I could see his strikes a million seconds before they would come. It was all so clear to me I was even joking with Dede (Andre Pederneiras, Nova Uniao’s head coach), joking that I was having fun, that I was a machine. When they gave him the first nod, I thought ‘I won, I won the fight’. Then, when they gave him the decision, it was a shocker.
“Not just because of the fight. Of course I respect anyone who comes out to fight. Marlon is Brazilian, we are pretty close, but, man, all the training I went through, the weigh cut. I’ve never had such a good weight cut in my life. I made weight by 11 PM on Thursday, I was just waiting to step on the scale the next day. I walked into the fight very healthy. Like I said, there may have been about a 10-second period in the fight in which he caught me and I was dazed, but it still wasn’t a knockdown. So, no, I did not see it that way, I was very aware.”
Although Aldo lost the fight to Marlon, he still has not given up on his goal to fight for the bantamweight belt, and Jose is not ready to let this loss steer him away from his plans. For the former champion, there still is a possibility that he will challenge champ Henry Cejudo next for the 135 belt, and in the Brazilian’s home town of Rio de Janeiro at that.
“The only fight I must do is against Cejudo, for the title. After I fight Cejudo for the title, I’ll see what I can do. You better believe it I’m really strong at this weight class. I dropped to become the champion. I was sure I was going to beat Marlon. I expected to close the deal on the Cejudo fight still today. It could still happen, judging by this meeting I just had. I’ve been asking for the fight, I’ve been talking to Dana. Cejudo asked for it, too. So, who knows, the next fight could be in Brazil. There will be a Brazil event in March, I think. Maybe we could headlined that card with the bantamweight belt on the line. I’ll be very strong, happy and excited.”
The loss to Moraes puts Jose Aldo (28-6) on a two-fight losing streak now. Before the split decision defeat, the 33-year-old dropped a unanimous decision to now featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, back in May. That makes Aldo’s last win date back to February, when he TKO’d 145 contender Renato Moicano.