Is the UFC going to book Jose Aldo – Dominick Cruz?

Two former UFC champions and all time greats could be on a collision course. Those two former champions are the former bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (23-3), and former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7).

Yesterday, Aldo told MMA Fighting that he would love to fight Dominick Cruz next. Aldo said, “It’s a big fight to make, Dominick and me, because of our importance. We were both WEC champions and then came to the UFC as champions, so it’s a big fight to make.”

Originally, Aldo appeared to be on a collision course with former bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt. However, the UFC decided to go in a different direction and ultimately booked Garbrandt against Rob Font. 

With that, Aldo is left without a fight. At this stage in Aldo’s career, he’s not wanting to fight more guys like Chito Vera. Aldo defeated Vera back in December to pickup his first win at bantamweight and snap a three-fight losing streak.

However, that fight was more about getting back in the win column. Now that he is, he wants the UFC to give him a big name. A guy in a very similar position to Aldo is Dominick Cruz.

Will the UFC book Cruz – Aldo?

Dominick Cruz appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show this week where he talked about upcoming opportunities. He echoed Aldo’s statements in that he wants the UFC to only give him big names from now on.

Cruz returned at UFC 259 and picked up a win over rising contender, Casey Kenney. Similar to Aldo, the fight was more about getting Cruz back in the win column after the last few years.

Cruz and Aldo are arguably the greatest fighters to have ever come out of the WEC. They were the first UFC champions in their respected weight classes and many often wondered how a fight between the two great champions would go.

Honestly, there’s never been a better time for the fight than now. Both are ranked inside the UFC’s top ten at bantamweight and both are at a very similar position in their careers. I believe this is a fight that will be made and I wouldn’t be shocked to see it booked for July or August.

After getting back in the win column at UFC 259, what’s next for Dominick Cruz?

Dominick Cruz

It’s been a tough last decade for the former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (23-3). Back in 2011, Cruz was on top of the world as the bantamweight champion. He ended that year by defending his title against Demetrious Johnson.

However, after that win, it would be almost three years before Cruz would compete again in the UFC. A series of knee injuries kept the former champion out of action. During that time, the promotion and the division moved on.

Cruz came back and looked incredible against Takeya Mizugaki in 2014. However, it would be another year and a half before Cruz was to fight again. Between October 2011 and January 2016, Dominick Cruz fought one time.

In January of 2016, Cruz completed his comeback by defeating TJ Dillashaw to become UFC bantamweight champion once again. He then defended the title successfully against Urijah Faber. Cruz would go on to lose the title to Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207.

After that loss, Cruz would remain out of action for three and a half years. Cruz returned last May to fight Henry Cejudo for the title at UFC 249. Cruz was finished in the second round and contemplated retirement.

However, he decided to give fighting another chance. He returned Saturday to take on Casey Kenney (16-3-1) at UFC 259. While it wasn’t the most high profile fight, it was a dangerous one. Cruz looked great in his return and was able to pickup the decision victory.

What’s next after UFC 259?

This past Saturday saw Dominick Cruz win for the first time since June of 2016. It was a massive win for Cruz and now The Dominator appears focused on another run at the UFC bantamweight title.

With the win, you should expect to see Cruz against someone in the top ten next. There are two fights that I would love to see for Dominick Cruz. The first fight is against Frankie Edgar (24-9-1).

Edgar is coming off of a brutal knockout loss to Cory Sandhagen. However, if Edgar would’ve won that fight, he would’ve been next in line for a title shot. The matchup between the two legends would be a lot of fun and it makes sense according to the UFC rankings.

Another fun matchup would be Cruz against Jose Aldo (29-7). Aldo is currently ranked near the top of the division and he’s coming off of a win against Chito Vera. This matchup of former champions is one that fans wanted to see years ago when Aldo dominated 145 and Cruz dominated 135.

I could easily see the UFC putting these two legends together in a fight next. Really, either of those options makes sense for Dominick Cruz. While we don’t know exactly what’s next, we know that Dominick Cruz is back.

State of the bantamweight division after UFC 259

UFC 259 was supposed to provide some clarity in the bantamweight division. While Petr Yan (15-2) was the champion, many questioned how legit he was as the champion seeing as the two wins he had leading to the title came against Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo (29-7).

While both are great former champions, neither are considered to be the cream of the crop at 135 pounds. Aljamain Sterling (20-3) on the other hands was considered by everyone to be the number one contender.

Sterling had been on an incredible run and was expected to be the biggest challenge for Yan. Had Yan defeated Sterling, you couldn’t question the legitimacy of his title reign. Well, for almost four rounds at UFC 259, it looked like we were heading that direction.

Aljamain Sterling was putting up a good fight, but Petr Yan was in control on Saturday night. Sterling was fading badly and it looked like we were getting close to a potential Petr Yan stoppage win. However, that’s when chaos erupted.

With about 30 seconds left in the fourth round, Aljamain Sterling was grounded with one knee on the floor. Yan looked to his corner for instructions and someone said he was good to throw a knee. Yan launched a knee that hit Sterling flush in the temple.

That knee ultimately prevented Sterling from being able to continue. As a result, Yan was disqualified and Sterling won the title. While Sterling was on his way to losing, he gets a DQ win and walked out of UFC 259 the bantamweight champion.

State of the UFC’s bantamweight division

With all of this controversy, Dana White said that the UFC will immediately book the rematch between Sterling and Yan. While Sterling has the title, there’s virtually no one that views him as the champion with him winning in that fashion.

To me, it’s almost like the title is vacant. I don’t think either man should have the title at the moment, but my opinion doesn’t matter. Sterling will go into the rematch with Yan as the bantamweight champion.

With that rematch in the works, the UFC will now look to book Cory Sandhagen (14-2) against former champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw is eligible to fight now that he’s off suspension and Dana White said he would be in a title eliminator in his first fight back.

Considering the spots in the division, it appears that Dillashaw and Sandhagen are on a collision course. The next spot in the rankings belongs to Rob Font (18-4). In my opinion, I would love to see Font fight former UFC champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3) next.

However, Garbrandt has been chasing a fight with Jose Aldo next. If that happens, Font will need a new fight. Based on the rankings, the only fight that would make sense for Font is Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC).

Munhoz is in the top ten and he’s coming off of a very impressive win against Jimmie Rivera. Prior to that he lost a debatable decision to Frankie Edgar. Had that decision gone towards Munhoz, he’d be in the top five right now. The promotion will get these guys paired up and it should be an exciting 2021 at 135.

UFC: Cody Garbrandt wants Jose Aldo in April before flyweight title shot

One of the best highlight reel knockouts of 2020 came back at UFC 250. That night, Cody Garbrandt (12-3) unleashed a vicious right hook in the final seconds of the first round to completely flatten Raphael Assuncao.

The former UFC bantamweight champion picked up his first win since December of 2016 with that knockout. Prior to that victory, he had been knocked out in three straight fights.

After Garbrandt won, he was moved up to third in the bantamweight rankings. However, he wanted to drop down to 125 pounds and fight at flyweight. He had his eyes set on the newly crowned flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo (20-1-1).

The UFC booked their title fight for November. However, due to injuries and a battle with COVID, Garbrandt had to pull out of the fight. Garbrandt has been healing on the sidelines while awaiting his flyweight title opportunity.

The former bantamweight champion was all set to take on the winner of the UFC 256 headliner between Figueiredo and Brandon Moreno (18-5-2). However, the two men fought to a draw and the UFC is going to give Moreno an immediate rematch.

Garbrandt is ready for another fight, however, if he wants to wait for a flyweight title shot, he won’t fight until late in the summer. Instead, Garbrandt has his eyes on a big fight at bantamweight while he waits.

Will the UFC book Garbrandt – Aldo?

Cody Garbrandt told ESPN this week that the fight that he wants is Jose Aldo (29-7). He pointed out the fact that at this stage he only wants to fight big names if he’s not getting a title shot. His desire to remain active is why he’s wanting to fight again at bantamweight.

Aldo is coming off of a win in December over Chito Vera. The win snapped a three-fight losing streak for Aldo. Aldo has looked rejuvenated since dropping down to bantamweight in late 2019.

Currently, both men are ranked in the top six of the division. Aldo has been calling out TJ Dillashaw (16-4), however, there’s no traction on that fight at the moment. Garbrandt also told ESPN that he wants to fight a “clean” TJ Dillashaw.

No Love made it very clear that he still intends on dropping to 125 pounds when he’s presented with the title shot. The desire to fight Aldo just stems from remaining active and getting to fight a big name. Personally, I love the matchup if the UFC can get it done.

UFC: Rob Font wants a March headliner against TJ Dillashaw

One of the UFC bantamweight contenders with the most hype right now is Rob Font (18-4). Font starched Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) with a devastating performance in his last fight. It was a fight where Font had to show a number of his skills.

Going into the December matchup at UFC Vegas 17, we knew that Rob Font had really good boxing. However, there were questions around how he would handle someone with strong kicks and how his grappling would hold up.

Well, he was taken down early, but he got back up. He did take some kicks from Moraes, but the damage he did with his own punches was far more severe. Just under four minutes into the first round, Font put Moraes out.

It was the third straight victory in the UFC for Font. After the win, Font rose to fifth in the bantamweight rankings. A spot well deserved after the performance that he put on last month.

Font has made it very clear in what he wants next. He wants a shot at the former UFC bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw’s two-year suspension ends this week, and he needs an opponent.

Will the UFC make it?

Font told MMA Junkie that he would love to headline a card with March against Dillashaw. He also said that he believes the former champion is mentally broken now that he has to compete after being a proven cheater.

Dillashaw is currently weighing his options for his next matchup in the UFC. He’s made it clear that he wants a title shot right out of the gate, however, it isn’t clear on if the promotion is a fan of that option.

Jose Aldo (29-7) also said that he would like to be the one to welcome Dillashaw back to the octagon. At this point, there is no telling on what direction the promotion is leaning. However, the Font fight does make sense.

Rob Font has a ton of momentum after his last fight. It was a great performance and he could be looking at a title shot if he has one more big win. Well, it wouldn’t get much bigger than a win over the former UFC champion.

Cody Garbrandt (12-3) and his management have been asking the UFC for a fight with Aldo. Garbrandt is currently waiting for a flyweight title shot, however, with the title tied up until mid-2021, he’s looking for a big fight.

The promotion could book Garbrandt and Aldo which would open the door for Dillashaw to face Font. It’s a fight that makes a ton of sense for the division and whoever wins would earn themselves a title shot with that performance.

Cory Sandhagen says TJ Dillashaw needs a win before getting UFC title shot

One of the more exciting divisions in the UFC is the bantamweight division. Just last week, we saw it get announced that Petr Yan (15-1) and Aljamain Sterling (19-3) are finally going to fight for the title in March at UFC 259. 

Next month, there is also a big time bantamweight matchup scheduled for February 6th. Cory Sandhagen (13-2) will be taking on Frankie Edgar (24-8-1) in the co-main event of that UFC Fight Night.

Both Sandhagen and Edgar are currently ranked inside the top four of the bantamweight division. Considering that Cody Garbrandt (12-3) is ranked third despite moving down to flyweight, both men are actually ranked in the top three.

However, it’s not a guarantee that the winner of their matchup will get a UFC title shot. While it makes all the sense in the world and whoever wins would definitely be deserving, there’s one fighter that could throw a wrench into things.

That fighter is the former UFC bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw is getting ready to return after serving a two-year suspension following a positive drug test for EPO.

Dillashaw’s suspension forced him to relinquish the UFC bantamweight championship. He never lost the title inside the octagon, but his actions outside the cage gave the belt away. Dillashaw has been vocal about his desire to fight for the title.

UFC shot right away? Sandhagen says no way

TJ Dillashaw told ESPN in early December that he believes he should get a title shot immediately. His logic is that he never lost the title inside the cage and Yan really didn’t earn the title. For that reason, the championship is up for grabs.

Jose Aldo (29-7) recently called out Dillashaw for a fight after his last win. Honestly that matchup would make a ton of sense for both men. However, reports are that there is no traction at the moment to get that fight done.

Sandhagen has been hearing whispers about Dillashaw’s desire for a UFC title shot. He made it clear that he’s not in favor saying, “I heard him say he’s playing the ‘financially secure’ card. We’ve been putting in work while you’ve been gone. So that would kind of be a bummer if they just gave it to him.”

At this point, it doesn’t appear that the UFC is going to give Dillashaw his desired title shot. Yes, Dillashaw never lost the title inside the cage, however, he hasn’t fought in two years due to a suspension for taking a banned substance.

Dominick Cruz (22-3) never lost his title either but was forced to face Takeya Mizugaki instead of getting a title shot after his first layoff. And that was due to injury. Sandhagen is right in that the winner of him and Frankie Edgar should get the next shot at the title.

The UFC should really try to book Dillashaw against a guy like Aldo. Let him reestablish himself in the division and try to repair his name. Do not give him a title shot just because he held the belt when he was suspended. It’s not fair to the guys who have been competing.

State of the UFC’s bantamweight division entering 2021

One of the divisions that has really flipped in 2020 is the UFC‘s bantamweight division. I’m not sure anyone saw the division going the way that it did when the year started. Granted, I don’t think anything about 2020 went as planned.

When the year started, Henry Cejudo (16-2) was the reigning UFC bantamweight king. He was angling for a fight with former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7), after Aldo lost by split decision to Marlon Moraes.

Cejudo and the UFC brass felt that Aldo won the fight. The two men were scheduled to fight in May. However, after the pandemic hit, Aldo was not able to travel for UFC 249 to take on Cejudo.

That’s when former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (22-3), stepped to the plate. Cruz had been out since 2016, but in that fight he lost his world title. The two men met at UFC 249.

That night, Cejudo finished Cruz in the second round then retired after the fight. The promotion decided to give Aldo a title shot after he was promised one and paired him against top contender, Petr Yan (16-1) for the vacant title.

At UFC 251 on Fight Island, Yan and Aldo met for the bantamweight championship. Aldo had some good moments early, however, Yan took over late. Ultimately, Yan finished Aldo in the fifth round to become bantamweight champion.

UFC’s Bantamweight Division in 2021

We already know the first title fight, we just don’t know when. Yan was supposed to defend his title against Aljamain Sterling (19-3) at UFC 256. However, Yan had to pull out for undisclosed reasons. That fight is supposed to be setup early in 2021.

An interesting wrinkle in the division is the return of former champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw never lost his UFC title in the ring, but his suspension forced him to be stripped of the 135 pound title.

Dillashaw’s two-year suspension is up in January and he’s looking to get right back in the mix. Jose Aldo is one of the men that wants a shot at Dillashaw. Aldo is coming off of a big win against Chito Vera at UFC Vegas 17. 

The two former UFC champions could make for a very compelling matchup. Another key matchup early in the year is the matchup between Cory Sandhagen (13-2) and former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar (24-8-1).

That matchup on February 6th might be a title eliminator. Rob Font (18-4) might be the one contender to watch in 2021. Font just knocked out Marlon Moraes at UFC Vegas 17. His hands looked incredibly crisp and he’s busted into the top five at bantamweight.

The UFC‘s bantamweight division is absolutely stacked. I didn’t even mention the matchup between Pedro Munhoz and Jimmie Rivera that’s booked on January 20th. So many incredible matchups in that division.

Petr Yan looks like a world-beater. However, his division is full of guys who are waiting to take away that crown. So many interesting storylines and potential matchups surround the UFC’s bantamweight division entering 2021.

State of the UFC’s featherweight division entering 2021

One of the more dynamic divisions in the UFC over the last decade has been the featherweight division. The division had it’s first title fight back in 2011 when Jose Aldo (29-7) fought Mark Hominick at UFC 129.

Prior to that the featherweight division had been in the WEC. After the featherweight division moved over to the UFC, the division was ruled by Aldo until the end of 2015 when Conor McGregor knocked Aldo out in the first round.

While Aldo did end up winning an interim featherweight title after McGregor left the division, once Aldo’s reign was over, we transitioned to the blessed era. Max Holloway (21-6) became UFC featherweight champion in 2016.

Holloway went on a run that saw him beat Anthony Pettis, Aldo (Twice), Frankie Edgar, and Brian Ortega (15-1, 1 NC). However, the Blessed Express finally fell last December to the new king, Alexander Volkanovski (22-1).

Volkanovski entered UFC 245 as a betting underdog to Holloway. However, he used a steady attack to dethrone the featherweight king. The two ran things back at UFC 251 with Volkanovski barely edging Holloway by split decision.

With two consecutive wins over Max Holloway, Volkanovski is ready for new challenges in the UFC‘s featherweight division in 2021. Fortunately for him, it’s a division full of killers which is promising for a big year.

UFC’s featherweight division in 2021

Starting at the top, we should expect to see a UFC featherweight title fight pretty quickly in 2021. After Brian Ortega completely dominated Chan Sung Jung (16-6), he’s earned the next shot at Volkanovski.

Dana White has said that the title fight between those two will likely take place in February. The former champion, Holloway, is still near the top of the division. Holloway will kick off the UFC‘s action in 2021 on Fight Island.

UFC Fight Island 7 is being headlined by Holloway as he takes on Calvin Kattar (22-4). Kattar has risen to the top of the division having only lost once in the last couple of years. Whoever wins that fight should be in a really good position in the division.

The one UFC contender people need to watch out for is Zabit Magomedsharipov (18-1). The Russian didn’t get to fight in 2020 and he’s not currently booked, but he’s been perfect at 6-0 since joining the UFC.

Had he picked up a win in 2020, he could’ve gotten a title shot before Brian Ortega. I would expect the UFC to get Zabit a fight relatively early in 2021. The top contender needs to get back in the octagon sooner than later.

The featherweight division is absolutely stacked and Volkanovski is going to have his hands full in 2021. To be completely honest, I really don’t know who will leave 2021 as the UFC featherweight champion. Should be a very fun year in that weight class.

UFC: What happened to Marlon Moraes?

At UFC 238, Marlon Moraes (23-8-1) entered the cage as the betting favorite to capture the vacant bantamweight championship. Standing in his way was the promotion’s flyweight champion of the world, Henry Cejudo.

Entering UFC 238, Moraes had gone 17-1 in his previous eighteen fights. The lone loss was a split decision to Raphael Assuncao which Moraes emphatically avenged when he stopped Assuncao in the first round of their rematch.

Moraes had finished his previous three UFC fights in the first round and many believed he would be too much for Cejudo. In the first round, Moraes was really dominating the fight on the feet. He brutalized Cejudo with low kicks and kicks to the body.

Cejudo looked like he was going to be overwhelmed by Moraes. However, he wasn’t going to go away easily. The first half of the second round looked the same with Moraes dominating the striking. However, momentum started to switch.

You could almost see Moraes starting to break at UFC 238 after Cejudo refused to fall to his attacks. In the third round, Moraes looked like a broken fighter and Cejudo went on to finish him in the third.

Since that loss, Moraes has not looked like the same fighter in the UFC. He defeated Jose Aldo last December by split decision, but the vast majority of people believe that Moraes lost the fight.

Rough 2020 for the UFC’s Magic Man

Entering 2020, Moraes had a lot to prove inside the octagon. Cejudo completely broke him at UFC 238 and many thought Aldo won their fight. Aldo was actually awarded the title shot over Moraes despite Moraes technically winning their fight.

After being out the first part of the year, Moraes got his first UFC contest of 2020 in October against Cory Sandhagen. Sandhagen was coming off of an embarrassing loss and many believed that this was a good fight for Moraes to get back on track with.

However, that didn’t happen at all. Sandhagen went on to finish Moraes in the second round of their fight. Frustrated with another loss, Moraes wanted a quick turnaround. The UFC game him Rob Font at UFC Vegas 17.

Font has really good boxing, but the grappling and kicking advantage would go to Moraes. For those reasons, I believed Moraes would win the fight. However, what transpired was another loss for Moraes.

Moraes started out strong, however, it was clear that he didn’t want to stand with Font. After taking him down early in the first round, Moraes was forced to stand after Font worked his way back up. It didn’t take long for Font to knock him out once on the feet.

In the eyes of many, Moraes has lost four fights in a row starting with the Cejudo loss. I personally think that Moraes needs to take some time to really evaluate where he’s at in his career and how can proceed forward.

He’s gone from being the UFC‘s magic man to truly everyone knowing his tricks. I still believe he has a lot of talent, but if he suffers another loss, he could be on the chopping block.

UFC Match Maker: TJ Dillashaw – Jose Aldo

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 17, Jose Aldo (29-7) was able to get back in the win column. The former featherweight champion took on Chito Vera (16-7-1) in the co-main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 17.

In the first round of the fight, Aldo looked sensational on the feet. Busting up the legs and the body of Chito Vera. A dominant display of grappling in the third round sealed the fight for Jose Aldo.

After the fight was over, the former UFC featherweight champion called out one man. There is only one fight that seems to interest Aldo at the moment, and that is a matchup with the former UFC bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4).

Dillashaw never lost his title inside the octagon. Back in early 2019, Dillashaw dropped down to flyweight to try and capture a second UFC title. Dillashaw lost the fight, however, he also tested positive for EPO and was forced to relinquish his bantamweight title.

He also received a two-year suspension for the positive test. That suspension is up in January and Dillashaw is interested in returning in March. He responded to the UFC callouts this week stating that fighters are calling him out because, “They know that’s my belt.”

UFC: Dillashaw – Aldo

Personally, I think this is the perfect matchup for the UFC to make. Aldo just fought Petr Yan for the title back in July and he’s coming off of a very impressive win over Chito Vera. Aldo is right in the mix at 135 pounds.

Dillashaw needs a really solid opponent for his UFC return. He needs a big name that can reestablish himself near the top of the division if he’s able to pickup the victory. Aldo certainly fits the mold of that kind of opponent.

With the title tied up for at least the first quarter of 2021, I believe the UFC should move to make Aldo – Dillashaw. If Dillashaw wins, he will be the next in line for the title. However, if Aldo wins, he could get another opportunity at UFC gold.