Jose Aldo’s Next Fight Is A Comeback For UFC History Books

The King of Rio returns...

Jose Aldo’s Next Fight Is A Comeback For UFC History Books

Image: Getty / ZUFFA

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will complete his UFC contract with a comeback fight against No. 13 ranked bantamweight Jonathan Martinez at UFC 301 on 4 May 2024, at the Farmassi Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Aldo retired from mixed martial arts after losing to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 last 20 August 2022. While away from the Octagon, Aldo entered boxing and fought thrice in the squared circle. 

He defeated Emmanuel Zambrano in an exhibition bout on February 10, 2023. Two months later, he made his professional boxing debut against former UFC opponent Jeremy Stephen. The bout ended in a controversial majority draw. On 2 July 2023, Aldo won his first professional boxing match by defeating Esteban Gabriel Espindola via unanimous decision.

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When Jose retired from MMA, he still had one fight left in his UFC contract. As he confirmed recently, he will be completing his contract at UFC 301 but with an open mind that if he does well, he might make a UFC comeback.

Facing Aldo at UFC 301 will be the No.13 ranked bantamweight in the UFC – Jonathan Martinez. Martinez is a former XFL flyweight and bantamweight champion. The 30-year-old from Plainview, Texas is on a roll right now as The Dragon has won his last six fights. Two out of his last three wins have been by leg kick knockout with both KO wins earning him a Performance of the Night bonus. 

Martinez has an overall record of 19-4 with 9 knockouts and two submission victories. He has been knocked out only once in his career. Two of his losses were on points and another one was by disqualification. 

“He’s a very tough opponent, and I think he has what, two wins by leg kicks?” Aldo told MMA Junkie through an interpreter.

“I’m a specialist at what I do, and you’re always going to face people that do the same thing that you do, but that’s what I’m known for, my leg kicks. I’m really prepared to go in there and do my best and do what I train to do.”

Aldo says that he has watched Martinez’s game and he knows that he is in for a tough fight. But he believes that while Martinez is a dangerous kicker, he has the hand striking that can give his opponent problems, especially since he spent the previous year in boxing.