Fight fans around the world are getting ready for this much-anticipated match. The battle-hardened former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is ready to strike gold again versus the constantly surprising champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 250. Through his last few fights against Johnson, Dillashaw, and Moraes, Cejudo has silenced all those that doubted his talent.

Though he hasn’t had many performances since winning the 125lb title from Johnson, his results so far have set the tone of who he is as a fighter. Facing Aldo could certainly prove to be his biggest challenge yet, but analysts have suggested that he has the best odds of winning through his sheer determination, resilience, and possibly a strength advantage.

The Rise of Henry Cejudo

While the 125lb division has been vastly overlooked, most UFC fans knew the name Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. The respected champion of the flyweight division held the title from 2012 until he faced Cejudo in 2018. This win was the fight that put Cejudo on the map in the UFC.

Cejudo had stepped up as a major force in a division that had long since grown stale, and fans around the world had taken notice. Immediately after triumphing over Johnson, Cejudo announced he would be stepping up to the 135lb Bantamweight division to fight the champion TJ Dillashaw.

After some back and forth, TJ announced he would instead drop to 125lbs to fight Cejudo at flyweight. While many speculated it would be an easy win for TJ, instead it was a quick night for Cejudo, knocking out TJ in a matter of moments in the first round. At this point, there was no denying that Cejudo was a serious fighter and any talks of him “getting lucky” were quickly disregarded.

The resulting chaos after this fight saw TJ suspended from the UFC, leaving the Bantamweight 135lb title vacant. Cejudo then went on to fight Marlon Moraes at 135 to win the title, becoming a double champion and putting him in the position to fight the legend himself, Jose Aldo, who was fresh in the weight class after a drop from the 145lb division.

The Fall and Rise of Aldo

While newer fans don’t quite seem to understand, true fans of the sport have all the respect for the sensational Jose Aldo. Unfortunately for Aldo, his career seems to have been split into two different eras. Those being the pre – McGregor era and the post – McGregor era. Aldo held the 145lb title for years and was undefeated in the UFC prior to his fight with McGregor, when he was KO’ed in under 15 seconds.

Since then, his career has been up and down without finding steady ground. After winning the title back at 145, he lost it again to the tough fighter Max Holloway. He has since dropped down to bantamweight. In his welcoming fight against Marlon Moraes (Cejudo’s last opponent) he looked back in form, and fought like his old self again, ultimately losing to a split decision although many thought he clearly won.

Regardless of the loss, somehow Aldo is back in the driver’s seat with an upcoming title fight against Cejudo. If Aldo were to win, this could be the turning point in his career where he goes on to reclaim his legacy. A loss would likely be the last hurrah for Aldo with not many avenues to turn to afterwards.

What’s at Stake Here

On the surface, this might come across as just another title fight to the unsuspecting viewer but, when you look into the details, there’s actually a lot at stake here. A win over Aldo would finally bring Cejudo the respect that he so desperately craves in the world of MMA. A loss would leave him in a very strange place. He vacated his title at 125lbs, so if he loses the bantamweight title, he will likely stay at 135 and try to angle a rematch with Aldo.

On Aldo’s side, all the pressure really is on him to perform. Though he had an excellent fight with Marlon Moraes, he did lose and, technically, he should not have been given this title shot. No matter how you look at it, this is likely Aldo’s last chance to reclaim the champion status he lost to McGregor. Aldo has proven that he doesn’t want to fight at 145 anymore and a loss to Cejudo would be 3 straight losses for the former champion. At this point there would certainly be a lot of talk about Aldo retiring.

What Each Fighter Brings to the Table

Aldo has more title fight experience than most people in MMA. His cardio is still exceptional and he has shown numerous times that he can go toe to toe with younger fighters. He has the advantage when it comes to reach and his take down defense is exceptional. Cejudo had a lot of trouble against Moraes’ standup, and Aldo is in another class when it comes to the standup game. There are many analysts who think Aldo has a lot of skills that make him the superior fighter.

By now, Cejudo has let everyone know he is a gold medal champion in wrestling. He clearly has the grappling advantage, but it will be hard to get past Aldo’s take down defense. Aldo could catch him coming in with big knees as a counter. Cejudo has proven himself to be exceptionally sturdy and can withstand some punishment while throwing big shots.

Overall, Cejudo cannot be counted out on any level but Aldo certainly has some advantages to consider. Most importantly to this fight, Cejudo has shown that he can make adjustments where it counts. This is crucial when he’s going against someone like Aldo that can throw out so many different looks and strategies. This is going to be an incredible match, make sure to mark it on the calendar.

 

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