UFC 301 Co-Main Event Preview and Prediction: Jose Aldo – Jonathan Martinez

The King of Rio makes his return at UFC 301 in the co-main event. Former featherweight champion and Hall-of-Famer Jose Aldo (31-8) makes his return to the octagon tomorrow night as he takes on surging top contender Jonathan Martinez (19-4).

A truly interesting matchup and one nobody had penciled in when 2024 started. Jose Aldo was working with the UFC on a potential legends matchup with Dominick Cruz, but the fight fell through. The promotion wanted to keep Aldo on the Brazil card as did Aldo and Jonathan Martinez stepped up to take the fight.

Martinez is on an incredible run right now having won six fights in a row. Two of his last three fights have been finished by leg kicks and those were against Cub Swanson and Adrian Yanez. Martinez is a beast and he’s looking to play the spoiler at UFC 301.

Jose Aldo retired nearly two years ago after losing a decision to Merab Dvalishvili. It wasn’t a fight where he was dominated, but it snapped his win streak and he thought his title challenging days were over. With that in mind, Aldo retired from MMA. He has boxed three times since then so he has been active, but this fight at UFC 301 marks his return to MMA.

UFC 301 Prediction

If this fight was a few years ago, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Jose Aldo in this fight. While Martinez is an absolute dog and we’ve seen how good his leg kicks are, he’s taking on someone who can match his attacks but have much more power behind them. The power difference is still going to be there, but I think age plays a factor at UFC 301.

I’m really not sure what we are going to get from Jose Aldo tomorrow night. I think he’s going to be a little slower and that speed loss is going to hurt him. If he doesn’t have elite speed, I think he’s going to get beaten to the punch throughout the fight.

Aldo still has a lot of power and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him hurt Martinez or at least stun him. He also can fall back to his wrestling if need be. I just don’t think he’ll land more shots in this matchup and I think he won’t be able to take Martinez down and hold him there to win a decision. I think it’s Martinez’s night at UFC 301 unless something screwy happens with the judging.

Prediction: Jonathan Martinez by Decision

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