LAS VEGAS – Jose Aldo’s first trip to bantamweight is official.
The former UFC featherweight champion weighed in at 136, the maximum poundage allowed for a non-title bantamweight fight. He smiled on the scale and posed before exiting the stage at the official weigh-ins for UFC 245, which takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena.
Aldo attempted to ease concerns about his first trip to 135, saying he would be first on the scale for Saturday’s pay-per-view event. In fact, he was No. 16. The crowed amassed at the Red Rock Casino gave a short cheer after his weight was made official.
Aldo claimed his cut to bantamweight had been “pretty easy” and only required dietary changes, undercutting pictures taken during his training camp where he appeared gaunt and miserable. There was intense concern among fans and media pundits over his health as he made the drop to 135 pounds.
Moraes, who weighed in at 135.5 for the non-title bout, batted aside concerns for his opponent’s weight, telling MMA Fighting they were a distraction he didn’t want to indulge before an important fight.
Once the sport’s most dominant force at featherweight, Aldo’s MMA career took a turn with the loss of his UFC title to Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in 2015, almost four years to the date from his fight Saturday.
Aldo attempted to rebound and hoped for a rematch, but a pair of losses to current champ Max Holloway and a recent setback against No. 1 contender Alex Volkanovski – who takes on Holloway in Saturday’s co-headliner – he sought greener pastures at 135 pounds.
Moraes returns to the cage after a title setback against current two-division champ Henry Cejudo.