Marlon Moraes won a razor-thin decision against Jose Aldo at UFC 245, in Aldo’s bantamweight debut.
Step one was complete: Jose Aldo had made weight for his fight against Marlon Moraes at UFC 245. Step two was a little more complicated, however: come into a new weight class, after a tough weight cut, and take on a recent title challenger. Now easy feat.
Aldo, of course, was a longtime champion and one of the best featherweights of all time. But he’d struggled lately, clearly nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career. The drop to 135lbs was a gamble, one that might give him a shot at another belt, but one that could equally leave him open to unnecessary punishment.
Moraes nearly takes Aldo’s head off with a kick to start the fight. The speed difference is extremely noticeable between the two, as Moraes lands a big combination in the opening seconds. Aldo lands a left hand that cracks Moraes, but Moraes appears to be unphased. Moraes lands a quick 1-2 combination, but Aldo is starting to adapt to the speed of the fight. Aldo begins to cut off the cage, Moraes struggling with how to get his back off the cage. Aldo rips to the body, then goes upstairs to hurt Moraes. Aldo lands two big right hands that have Moraes hurting, but Moraes gets a big takedown on Aldo to recover and finish the round.
Aldo opens up the round with one of his patented leg kicks, and Moraes counters with a quick right hand. Aldo eats the punch and begins to walk down Moraes again, similar to round one. Aldo rips to the body with a combination, then lands three straight jabs. Moraes struggling very badly to get Aldo off of him, his production faded badly in round two. Aldo lands a left hook and Moraes counters with a right hand that normally would’ve hurt former opponents, but Aldo eats it. Aldo looking a bit reckless as the time rolls down in the final minute of round two, throwing a flying knee that just misses. Aldo had an excellent round-two, reminiscent of the Aldo of old.
Moraes lands three jabs in a row that backs up Aldo, albeit briefly. Aldo hops back on the bike and starts cutting off the cage again successfully. Aldo seemed to have taken his foot off the gas in terms of throwing strikes for a bit in round three, but Moraes wasn’t doing much either and was on the back foot. The crowd starts booing, right around the time Aldo stuns Moraes with a quick straight. Moraes counters with a nice right hand followed by a jab, but it’s not having much effect on Jose. Moraes having some late success, possibly stealing the fight in the final minute. Finishes the round with a great combination.
The reaction of each fighter says it all 😬
Jose Aldo's bantamweight debut ends in a razor-thin decision loss to Marlon Moraes.
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) December 15, 2019
Official Result: Marlon Moraes Defeats Jose Aldo via Split-Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)