UFC 301 Recap: Jose Aldo puts on a clinic in Rio and stops Jonathan Martinez’s winning streak

Tonight in the co-main event of UFC 301, The King of Rio made his return. Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (31-8) returned to the octagon to take on the dangerous rising contender Jonathan Martinez (19-4).

Nearly two years ago, Aldo retired from MMA after losing a decision to Merab Dvalishvili. His thought was that his title contention days were over so he had no reason to carry on. Yet, just a couple of years later, Aldo has returned and was competing in the co-main event.

Jonathan Martinez was there to play spoiler this evening. Martinez had been on an incredible run winning six straight entering tonight. Two of those wins came via brutal leg kick finish. This fight promised to be fireworks with both men desperate to get their hand raised at UFC 301.

UFC 301 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 301 bantamweight contest kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Martinez takes the center and both men throwing feints immediately. Martinez popping the jab and Aldo starts to plot forward. Low kick from Martinez and a combination from Aldo. Another low kick from Martinez.

Shot to the body from Aldo. Two straight leg kicks from each side from Martinez. Aldo throws a combination but he’s slightly out of range. Jab from Aldo and Martinez threatens a takedown. Both men still feeling each other out in the first half of the round. Both men trade leg kicks. Combination from Aldo.

Another nice right hand from Aldo. Two minutes left and Martinez eats a left. Leg kick checked by Aldo and then he lands a right. Big right hand cracks Martinez. Martinez trying to get it back with a couple of jabs. Aldo definitely appears to be the faster fighter thus far. Big combination from the former champion. Nasty kick from Aldo. The round ends and it’s 1-0 Aldo in Rio.

Round 2

Second round is underway at UFC 301 and Martinez immediately starting with jabs. Big leg kick from Aldo and Martinez throws a high one. Nice body shot from Aldo and Martinez fires back. Leg kick from Martinez and Aldo throws one of his own. Combination from Aldo lands and his hands look crisp.

Combination from Aldo and he finishes with a knee to the body. Takedown attempt from Martinez and he pushes Aldo up against the fence. Aldo remains composed against the fence and the referee breaks them up after over a minute of nothing. Big right hand from Aldo lands.

Martinez throws a double jab. Big combination from Aldo and Martinez cracks him with a left. Aldo cracks Martinez and Martinez is rocked. He recovers quickly but Aldo is on him. Big combination from Aldo and the former champion resets. Martinez looks bewildered here in Rio. Nice left from Aldo. Martinez lands a couple of shots of his own.

Big left now from Aldo and a low kick. Right straight now from Aldo and now he rips to the body. Knee from Aldo and here comes Martinez. Spinning backfist from Martinez. Both men trade shots and the round comes to an end. 2-0 Aldo on my scorecard.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 301 and I think Jonathan Martinez needs a finish. They touch gloves and here we go. Big left straight from Martinez and now a combination from Aldo. Combination from Aldo and a low kick from Martinez. Big 1-2 from Aldo and then a takedown attempt from Aldo.

Martinez shakes it off and they’re back to striking. Combination now from Martinez who is pressing forward. Jab from Aldo. Big 1-2 from Martinez and now a step in elbow. Body kick from Martinez and Aldo rips a 1-2. Nasty knee to the body from Aldo. Power jab from Aldo and now Martinez really ups the pressure.

Right hand from Aldo and Martinez throws a big combination . Halfway through the final round and both men are having success here. Right hand from Martinez who is having a lot more success in the third. Jab from Martinez and Aldo lands a right straight. Aldo rocks Martinez bad with a combination. Huge knees from Aldo and Martinez is wobbly.

Aldo picks Martinez up and slams him to the ground. One minute left to work and Aldo might just ride this one out. Short shots from Jose Aldo and Martinez is trying to fight off his back. Half guard from Aldo and he’s looking to mount. Martinez gets back to guard and he’s looking for a submission, but Aldo is too good here. The fight comes to an end and Jose Aldo returns to glory in Rio!

Jose Aldo def. Jonathan Martinez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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