Friday, June 2, 2023

UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Jose Aldo batters Rob Font for crucial win at bantamweight

Jose Aldo continued to defy the odds on Saturday night in Las Vegas, picking up a win over Rob Font in the highly-anticipated UFC Fight Night bantamweight main event. Aldo, who made an unexpected move to bantamweight in 2019 after twice holding the UFC featherweight title, entered the fight as an underdog but managed to repeatedly hurt Font throughout the five-round clash, ultimately earning a wide victory on the official scorecards.

There was little hesitation to engage from either man as the first round started, with Font immediately charging forward behind his heavy jab and Aldo looking to find space to get off his lightning-quick counters. Font threw the first curveball of the fight when he shot for a takedown and continued to work to force Aldo to defend before going back to the striking game when Aldo managed to keep himself upright.

After having lost nearly every second of the opening round, Aldo unloaded a brutal right hand that sent Font stumbling back to the cage before he fell to the canvas. Aldo attempted to pounce, but time ran out on the round before he could fully pursue the finish.

Those were the notes the fighters would continue to hit, with Aldo drilling his big overhand right and Font looking to work primarily off his big jabs.

It was Aldo’s right hand, however, that was the biggest weapon in the fight as he hurt Font with it again in Round 4, putting Font on his back. While Aldo’s right eye was nearly swollen shut by the end of Round 3, the right hand that scored the knockdown for Aldo nearly closed Font’s left eye.

Font was able to survive being under Aldo for nearly the entirety of Round 4 and came out hard in the final round knowing he likely needed a stoppage. Aldo appeared to be exhausted with five minutes remaining in the fight but weathered a storm of power shots from Font before again staggering him with heavy punches and scoring a third knockdown.

Aldo was able to hold onto his position on top on the ground until the final horn, even nearly locking in a rear-naked choke. But the final knockdown left little doubt as to who would be on the winning end of the official scorecards.

Aldo was awarded the win by wide scorecards of 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46, running his winning streak to three as he made a case for another chance to become UFC champion. Aldo lost a fight for the vacant bantamweight title against Petr Yan in July 2020. Yan is now interim champion and set for a rematch with champion Aljamain Sterling when Sterling returns from injury.

With the title picture so complicated currently, Aldo suggested a fight with former division king TJ Dillashaw in his next outing.

“Of course, I want to fight for the title but we don’t know what’s going to happen with that so Dillashaw is right there,” Aldo said via interpreter after the fight. “I want to fight Dillashaw. That would be the best opponent next.”

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