Jose Aldo turned back the clock once again as he halted the momentum of a fellow contender and reminded the world that he’s still very much a factor in the UFC’s bantamweight division.
Former featherweight king Aldo headed into Saturday night’s main event at UFC on ESPN 31 as the betting underdog against rising contender Rob Font, with many believing the Brazilian’s best years were in the past.
But Aldo produced yet another virtuoso performance of striking accuracy and movement as he outstruck Font across the five-round main event duration at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
The scorecards – 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 – reflected the Brazilian’s dominance, as Aldo registered the 31st win of his stellar MMA career, and his 13th under the UFC banner.
It means that the Brazilian remains a serious threat to the top men at 135 pounds, with only Cory Sandhagen, former champion T.J. Dillashaw, interim champ Petr Yan and reigning champ Aljamain Sterling above Font in the UFC’s bantamweight rankings.
Aldo headed into fight night ranked at No. 5, with Font at No. 4. Following Aldo’s win, the pair will almost certainly swap places in the rankings list, with Aldo eyeing fights against the division’s elite once again.
The co-main event delivered a spectacular finish as Rafael Fiziev knocked out former training partner Brad Riddell with a stunning spinning wheel kick, while light heavyweight contender Jamahal Hill served notice to the division’s big names with a quickfire 48-second finish of Australia’s highly-rated Jimmy Crute.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) December 5, 2021
There was also another remarkable victory for Chris Curtis, who defeated rising contender Brendan Allen via second-round TKO, despite still fighting at middleweight, a full weight class above his regular weight.
Aldo wasn’t the only golden oldie on the card to score a big win, as lightweight mainstay Clay Guida notched a remarkable victory over Brazilian submission ace and former BJJ world champion Leonardo Santos.
Santos had lost just once since joining the UFC back in 2013 and was looking to bounce back from his knockout defeat to Grant Dawson.
But, despite being battered by the Brazilian at the start of the fight, Guida not only defeated Santos, but he did it via submission, with “The Carpenter” locking up a second-round rear-naked choke to hand Santos the first submission loss of his MMA career.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 5, 2021
UFC on ESPN 31: Official Results
- Jose Aldo def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
- Rafael Fiziev def. Brad Riddell via TKO (spinning wheel kick) – Round 3, 2:20
- Jamahal Hill def. Jimmy Crute via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:48
- Clay Guida def. Leonardo Santos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:21
- Chris Curtis def. Brendan Allen via TKO (punches and knees) – Round 2, 1:58
- Alex Morono def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)