A huge featherweight fight with potential title implications has been announced, and the fights that were scheduled for UFC 233 have been moved. More on both in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano, UFC on ESPN+ 2
The UFC has booked an important featherweight bout that could potentially determine the next challenger for champion Max Holloway. Former long-time UFC and WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will return to the Octagon to take on rising contender Renato Moicano at UFC on ESPN+ 2, which is set for February 2 at Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil. MMAjunkie.com broke the news, noting Aldo vs. Moicano will be the co-main event behind the headlining five-round bantamweight rematch between Marlon Moraes and Raphael Assuncao.
Aldo (27-4) is 9-3 overall in the UFC and is coming off of a vintage highlight-reel KO over Jeremy Stephens. Back-to-back knockout defeats to Max Holloway plus a knockout loss to Conor McGregor had fans and media thinking it was the end of Aldo as an elite featherweight, but he showed against Stephens that he’s still a top fighter at age 32. Moicano (13-1-1) is 5-1 overall in the UFC with his lone loss coming via submission to Brian Ortega. Moicano is coming off of consecutive impressive wins over Calvin Kattar and Cub Swanson that have many observers of the sport thinking he could be a future champion at 145lbs. But before he gets to fight for the belt, he’s going to have to get through Aldo, and that’s no gimme. Although I definitely can see Moicano winning this fight, I think you have to anoint Aldo as a slight favorite here considering how amazing he looked against Stephens, not to mention his pedigree as as legend of the sport and a long-time champion.
UFC 233 Bouts Moved
With the cancellation of UFC 233, a number of bouts that were supposed to take place at the event have been moved to other cards. UFC.com has the full update on the card, which I’ve broken down below:
– A flyweight bout between Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo has been scrapped. Instead, Benavidez will serve as the backup fighter to Henry Cejudo and TJ Dillashaw at UFC on ESPN+ 1.
– A bantamweight bout pitting Dominick Cruz vs. John Lineker has been cancelled due to an injury to Cruz. Lineker is expected to be booked for another upcoming fight card.
– A bantamweight bout between Thomas Almeida and Cory Sandhagen has been postponed until a future card.
– An intriguing welterweight bout between Ben Askren and Robbie Lawler has been moved to UFC 235.
– Headed to UFC on ESPN+ 2 is a middleweight bout between Markus Perez and Anthony Hernandez.
– A women’s bantamweight bout between Marion Reneau and Yana Kunitskaya will take place at a UFC event in March that has not been announced yet.
– Headed to UFC on ESPN 1 is a lightweight bout between James Vick and Paul Felder; a bantamweight bout between Benito Lopez and Manny Bermudez; a women’s strawweight bout between Alexandra Albu and Emily Whitmire; and a women’s strawweight bout between Cortney Casey and Cynthia Calvillo.
It’s a shame that UFC 233 had to be cancelled, but at least the matchmakers have done a good job re-booking these bouts quickly.