Jonathan Martinez’s Next Fight: Anticipation Builds As Opponent Revealed

Jonathan Martinez's Next Fight

UFC bantamweight Jonathan Martinez has been handpicked to welcome back Jose Aldo inside the Octagon. The two will square off in the co-main event of UFC 301.

UFC No. 13 ranked bantamweight Jonathan Martinez is on a roll right now. The Plainview, Texas fighter has won his last six UFC bouts and is coming off a second-round TKO win over Adrian Yanez at UFC Fight Night 230 last 13 October 2023. 

Last month, the 30-year-old Martinez was named as the comeback opponent for Hall of Fame Aldo. Aldo was the fourth and last featherweight champion at the WEC promotion. When it merged with the UFC in 2011, Aldo was promoted to UFC featherweight champion. 

Junior defended the belt seven consecutive times before losing it to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 on 12 December 2015. He reclaimed the belt at UFC 200 after McGregor moved up in weight but lost it during his first title defence against Max Holloway. 

Including the first loss to Holloway, Aldo finished his UFC career with a mediocre 5-6 record. And after losing to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 on 20 August 2022, he announced his retirement. 

After his retirement, Aldo transitioned to professional boxing and fought inside the squared circle three times, including an exhibition match against Emmanuel Zambarano last 10 February 2023. He made his pro boxing debut against former UFC opponent Jeremy Stephens in a bout that ended in a controversial majority draw. Scarface scored a six-round unanimous decision win over Esteban Gabriel Espindola last 2 July 2023.

When Aldo retired from MMA, he still had one fight left in his contract. It’s unclear if this is why he’s fighting again or if he has signed a new deal to make a comeback. What’s clear is that Martinez is ready for the challenge.

“It was pretty crazy – I had to let it sink in a little bit,” Martinez said. “I was ready to fight soon. I was telling my manager, and Jose’s name came up. It is a huge name. The fight’s good, and I know he’s been boxing and stuff. I feel like he’s gotten better. When people get older, they start going down, but he’s been looking good. I’m excited to see that version.”

Although Jonathan Martinez has been fighting since 2014, he has yet to fight an opponent with Aldo’s stature. Against the Hall of Famer, Martinez has the opportunity to become a Legend Killer. That’s why his next fight is heavily anticipated by MMA fans.