After a successful return at UFC 301, what’s next for Jose Aldo?

MMA: UFC 301 - Martinez vs Aldo
Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 301, The King of Rio made his return. Former featherweight champion and Hall of Famer Jose Aldo (32-8) made his return to the octagon when he took on top contender Jonathan Martinez (19-5).

Martinez had entered the octagon with a six-fight win streak and Aldo hadn’t fought in nearly two years. It was an interesting matchup for Aldo to return to, but The King of Rio wasn’t dodging a challenge and was willing to take on the young contender. Originally, there were talks of him fighting fellow legend Dominick Cruz.

When the bout started, it looked like Martinez was in awe of being in the octagon with Aldo. He was stuck for the first couple of rounds while Aldo was surprising him with big shots. Martinez never got going and Aldo pulled away using his speed to his advantage. Even at his advanced age, Aldo was much faster and much more explosive.

In the third round, the former UFC champion rocked Martinez bad. He looked like he could’ve finished the fight but opted to take the young contender down. It seemed like a mercy takedown. Aldo finished the round on top and swept the scorecards.

What’s next after UFC 301?

Aldo revealed that he fought out his contract at UFC 301 and with that, his future really isn’t clear. He did express interest in getting a title shot against Sean O’Malley, but I’m not sure it’s in the cards for him to jump the line. Aldo also said that this could’ve been it for him and he might go back to boxing.

If he does decide to return to the octagon, I would love for the promotion to put together the Dominick Cruz fight. It’s a legends fight that we always wanted in WEC and when they both came over in the UFC but we never got the fight. While both are no longer in their prime, it’s just the perfect fight.

Whoever wins could look to make one final run to the top or whoever wins could walk away with a historic win.

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