Jonathan Martinez UFC 301: Ready To Make Statement In High-Stakes Bout

Jonathan Martinez UFC 301


Jonathan Martinez is on a roll with six straight wins. So when the UFC needed a bantamweight for the UFC 301 main event, it wasn’t a surprise why Martinez was chosen.

Martinez is the No. 13 ranked bantamweight in the UFC. The 30-year-old from Plainview, Texas is a former two-division champion at the XFL promotion. Martinez won the XFL flyweight belt at XFL: Rage on the River 3 on 18 April 2014, and annexed the promotion’s bantamweight championship seven months later.

The Dragon made his UFC debut on 27 October 2018, at UFC Fight Night 38 in Canada, taking a fight against Andre Soukhamthath on short notice. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. After going 4-3 in his first seven UFC assignments, Martinez caught fire and has since won six straight bouts. Two out of his last three wins have been by knockout with both earning him Performance of the Night bonuses. 

Last month, Martinez got the opportunity of a lifetime when he was asked to welcome back former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo in a bantamweight bout. The Dragon recalled the moment he was offered the Aldo fight.

“I think it was after sparring, my manager called me and he was like, ‘Do you want to fight Jose Aldo?’ And I was like Jose Aldo?” Martinez told MMA Fighting. “I even asked who’s that? [He said] ‘Jose Aldo!’ And I was like, ‘Oh damn, yeah, I want to fight him.’

Aldo was the inaugural UFC featherweight champion. He was promoted to that title after the UFC-WEC merger in 2011. ‘Scarface’ was the fourth and final WEC champion. The Brazilian held the belt until 2015, making seven consecutive title defenses, while cementing himself as the greatest featherweight fighter of all time. Aldo lost the belt to Conor McGregor in an infamous 7-second knockout at UFC 194. He retired in 2022 and after a 3-fight professional boxing career, he is attempting a comeback. UFC 301 was the perfect venue for Aldo’s return.

UFC 301 is scheduled to take place at the Farmassi Arena in Rio de Janeiro on 4 May 2024. Interestingly, Aldo was dubbed the King of Rio for dominating the Brazilian MMA circuit before coming over to the UFC. Now 37 years old, Aldo is looking to make a triumphant return at the expense of Martinez. 

UFC 301 will be headlined by one of Brazil’s two current UFC champions. Alexandre Pantoja will defend the UFC flyweight belt against No. 10-ranked Australian Steve Erceg. Meanwhile, the Aldo-Martinez contest will be the co-main event of UFC 301.