In an exciting bantamweight fight, former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo makes his debut at 135. Aldo takes on Marlon Moraes in the main card UFC 245. Jose Aldo vs Marlon Moraes is going to answer a ton of questions.
Aldo was facing troubles with making weight for featherweight division, so how would he perform after such a tough weight cut against a top contender such as Marlon Moraes. Apart from Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar is also aiming for a bantamweight move. Although Edgar is smaller than Aldo the performance of Aldo at 135 will give some indications on how Edgar would do at bantamweight.
For a long time, Moraes was being compared with Jose Aldo and was believed to be the one to represent Brazil after Aldo in MMA. He was unsuccessful against Henry Cejudo and failed to capture the UFC title. However, a win over Aldo would be a great way to start the journey back to the title.
Moraes is a strong puncher for the bantamweight division. He has a vicious knockout power. His kicks are brutal. In the early part of the fight, he will look to land those power shots for sure. He did the same against Cejudo and was dominating Cejudo in the first round. However, he gassed out going into the later rounds. That apart Cejudo switched stance and picked Moraes apart, hence the entire loss can not be blamed on Moraes’ gas tank. He does have gaps in his striking game that Aldo can exploit for sure.
Skills wise Aldo is far superior to Moraes. He has a solid takedown defense and he can outstrike some of the best strikers in the game. However, the only concern for Aldo is the brutal weight cut. How much did the weight cut affect his training camp and how much is it going to affect his performance on December 14th. If the weight cut does play a role in the fight then it would be beneficial to Moraes for sure. And I think Aldo will be a diminished version of him at bantamweight division and Moraes would get the job done with in the first two rounds.
it’s a 3 round fight and hence Moraes’ cardio won’t be that big of an issue. However, with such a brutal weight cut Aldo is unlikely to absorb the power shots from Moraes very well. Hence Moraes is likely to get the win via knockout in the first two rounds.
However, it would be intriguing to see how Aldo does at 135. He did make weight for the fight and if that does not play a factor in the fight then Aldo has a solid chance to get the W.
Now let’s check what these UFC fighters have to say about this exciting match up. In a recent interview with ScoreMMA when asked to predict Aldo vs Moraes, Urijah Faber picked Moraes and stated:
“Jose Aldo, he is a guy who was the pound for pound the best fighter for a long time, and I believe that. He is one of those guys who has such high skillsets that when he is on point he is the best in the world. Moraes I think is going to be very dangerous in the beginning. But he fatigues a little bit. If the weight is a factor that will play into Moraes’s favor. But just fighter to fighter I will go with Aldo.”
Just like Faber, Curtis Blaydes also believes that the weight cut will be too much for Aldo against Moraes.
“No idea how fast, and explosive Jose is at bantamweight, and how bad the cut going to hurt him. He is older, so I don’t know how it is going to hurt him. If I am a betting man I would go with Moraes.” said Blaydes.
Cody Stamann similarly predicted Moraes to win the fight and believes Aldo won’t be at this best at 135.
“I think Marlon beats him. I think that weight cut is going to be a little too much for Aldo,” said Stamann.
UFC lightweight, James Krause surprisingly predicts Aldo to win a close fight despite the weight cut. Kruse predicted:
“I don’t like Aldo at 135. But I am picking him to win though. It’s 50-50 for me on that. I am gonna take Aldo in a really close fight.”
Ricky Simon also picks Aldo to come out with a W in his bantamweight debut.