JOSE ALDO’S CHANCES AGAINST HENRY CEJUDO
While the fight isn’t confirmed, the word on the street is Jose Aldo will challenge Henry Cejudo for the UFC Bantamweight strap. Cejudo is the champ champ, and is currently riding an impressive 5 fight win streak. Aldo is coming off back to back losses, and would only be competing at 135 for the second time.
So what are Jose Aldo’s chances against Henry Cejudo, realistically?
First, let’s take a look at Aldo’s losses. Following his defeat to Connor McGregor, he suffered two losses to Max Hollaway. Aldo was severely outgunned in both bouts, and couldn’t maintain Max’s pace. He’s suffered two losses since, both decisions. The first was against the man who eventually dethroned Max, current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. The other was a controversial split decision loss to Marlon Moraes.
There’s a lot to unpack with the Moraes fight. It was Aldo’s debut at 135 pounds, a feat many doubted was even possible. I remember watching clips of Aldo in tears, killing himself to make the 145 pound limit. The experiment seemed masochistic, and possibly counter productive. But he did make the weight, and physically held up just fine in the fight.
Many scored the fight in favor of Aldo due to his constant forward pressure and resulting ring control. The fight was close no matter how you scored it, and wasn’t the type of performance to suggest Aldo was ready for a title shot. Aldo was disciplined and in control of a dangerous opponent, but seemed unable to pull the trigger. After watching Cejudo rip Moraes to shreds after the first round, this isn’t comforting.
All of Jose’s losses are respectacle. 4 of his 5 UFC defeats are to featherweight champions, with the other being the Moraes fight. Still, his inability to win big fights recently is disconcerting heading into a potential fight with Henry Cejudo.
You have to favor Cejudo.
BRING BACK THE LEG KICKS
I can’t be the only one watching the Moraes fight who was baffled at Aldo’s choice to not utilize his best weapon. Jose Aldo not throwing leg kicks pisses me off. Please, for the love of God, throw low kicks Aldo.
Aldo likely chooses not to throw low kicks because of the risk of takedowns. In the Cejudo fight, I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a similar decision. In my eyes, Aldo isn’t good enough of a pure boxer to best Cejudo with only punches. Cejudo is on another level of wrestling from Aldo and anyone else in the game, and if he wants takedowns, they will be a major part of the fight. Aldo would be best served to let the kicks rip in this one, and focus on returning to his feet if and when the fight goes to the ground.
HEIGHT AND SIZE ADVANTAGE
Jose is listed at 5’7”, while Cejudo is listed at a generous 5’5”. Aldo fights long anyway, and is great at maintaining proper range with his opponent. This could be an issue for the shorter Cejudo, and may be Jose’s biggest advantage heading into the fight.
Jose can be a top notch body puncher when he’s looking for it, and the only time Cejudo was finished was by knees to the body. If Aldo can utilize the liver punch, as well as knees and roundhouse kicks to the body, this avenue could prove to be an equalizer.
Aldo’s reign as featherweight champion is legendary, but does he have what it takes to return to championship form? This may be his last chance, at a new weight class where he should enjoy a size advantage against most opponents. He wouldn’t have dropped a division if he didn’t think he could do it, but only time will tell if he has one more championship run in him.
Jose Aldo’s Chances Against Henry Cejudo