Jose Aldo took another step towards his ultimate goal to become bantamweight champion with a punishing performance to beat Rob Font in the UFC Vegas 44 main event.
While Font certainly hung tough until the very end it was Aldo’s considerable power advantage that earned him several near finishes over 25 minutes before ultimately winning a fairly lopsided unanimous decision. The scorecards read 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 with Aldo winning his third straight fight while taking out yet another top 10 ranked contender.
“I trained for this,” Aldo said after the win. “I want to be a champion in this division and I’m working for that. Rob Font’s a tough opponent. I respect him a lot but nobody’s going to stop me.
“We trained to become a complete MMA fighter. I want to be as complete as I can. This is the new Aldo that you’re seeing.”
Showing no fear of the former featherweight king when the action started, Font was on the attack from the first second of the fight after establishing his jab and then following behind it with some blistering punches to the body and head. Font’s activity appeared to throw Aldo off his game as the Brazilian was trying to figure out the best way to offer his counter strikes.
Just when it looked like Font was about to win the round without much resistance, Aldo blasted him with a huge straight right hand that staggered the New England native. Aldo looked to get the finish but time ran out before he could really follow up on the shot that put Font down.
Font recovered quickly between rounds as he once again showed off his volume striking attack but Aldo had the ultimate equalizer with that devastating right hand that once again landed on the button. This time around, Font wasn’t hurt quite as bad but he was still rattled momentarily as Aldo started to find a crack in his armor with that punch.
At the urging of his coaches, Aldo also started mixing in some of his signature leg kicks that began punishing Font as he stepped forward to throw his jab. Late in the third round, Aldo snapped off one kick that spun Font around and put him down on the canvas for a moment.
While he was dealing with some significant swelling around his eye, Aldo was still doing far more damage, which led to another huge right hand landing and Font was once again trying to avoid the finish. Aldo then landed a thudding knee from the clinch but Font found a way to survive by holding onto the Brazilian legend on the ground and that gave him enough time to recover.
With five minutes remaining, Font’s coaches told him that he needed the finish in order to get the win and that led to a lot of forward aggression but Aldo was quick to counter with a punishing combination that once again led him to a near finish.
On the ground, Aldo remained in control while attempting to wrap up a rear-naked choke but Font refused to tap as he managed to survive to the final horn. Still, Aldo had already done more than enough to secure the victory as the “King of Rio” had every reason to celebrate another monumental win.
Of course, Aldo made it clear that he wants to become bantamweight champion but with the title picture tied up with a fight expected between Petr Yan and Aljamain Sterling in early 2022, he had another name in mind for his next fight.
“I want to fight for the title but we don’t know what’s going to happen with that,” Aldo said. “So [T.J.] Dillashaw is right there just sitting. I want to fight Dillashaw. That would be my best opponent next.”
Following a two-year suspension on a doping violation, Dillashaw returned with a win over Cory Sandhagen and now he might be staring down a fight with Aldo to determine the next No. 1 contender at 135 pounds with the winner then facing either Yan or Sterling in 2022.