RIO DE JANEIRO — Jose Aldo kicked off his professional boxing career with a win in Brazil.
The former UFC and WEC featherweight king entered the squared circle for the first time Friday night in Rio de Janeiro, and though he wasn’t able to get the knockout he hoped for, Aldo (1-0) dominated Argentine boxer Emmanuel Zambrano (0-4) in a 140-pound match in the main event of Shooto Boxing.
The bout was scheduled for six three-minute rounds. Aldo showed no hurry early, instead feeling out his opponent in the opening rounds. He appeared to find his rhythm in Round 3, landing a good punch to the body and then going upstairs. Round 4 featured a brief moment where Aldo and Zambrano exchanged wildly, but neither were able to land a clean shot. Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras called for him to work the body, but the UFC legend was unable to find his target. In the end, Aldo comfortably won via unanimous decision.
Aldo already has his next boxing match booked. He’s set to face fellow UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens in a six-round bout in the co-main event of Gamebred Boxing 4 on April 1 in Milwaukee. Aldo knocked out Stephens inside one round at UFC on FOX 30 back in 2018.
Watch highlights of Aldo’s pro boxing debut below, courtesy of UFC Fight Pass.
The co-main event featured former Shooto Brazil welterweight champion Hernani Perpetuo battling against fellow UFC veteran Ildemar Alcantara in a 200-pound clash. The Nova União fighter Perpetuo scored a knockdown in Round 1, but the TKO stoppage came at the 1:39 mark of the second round after a right hand rocked Alcantara badly.
Ildemar’s brother Iuri Alcantara had better luck in his professional boxing debut. A man that defeated the likes of Joe Soto, Brad Pickett, and Wilson Reis during his UFC career, Alcantara went to war with Johnny Eduardo for four three-minute rounds, winning a split decision.
Bellator veteran Marlon Sandro also competed on the card in his first professional bout since leaving jail for an attempted murder of his then-fiancee Tayssa Wuensche. Arrested in April 2022 — and having faced several other domestic violence accusations in the past — Sandro spent only four months behind bars for the assault of Wuensche. Sandro defeated former UFC fighter Marcos Vinicius via decision in a four-round match.
New tune— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
Same King#ShootoBrazil pic.twitter.com/7CjisUYYJ3
A legend's intro#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/9gN2tnDEK4— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
Crowd loving every punch thrown#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/mhIeEzPj4i— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
Death, taxes, whiffing on punches against Jose Aldo#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/5LwAFJXvtP— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
Both getting comfortable in the pocket!#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/UACieO5mXw— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
The final round is underway!!#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/kKfX1Zwwd6— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023
STILL THE KING!!!!#ShootoBoxing pic.twitter.com/OwTDG7Im9f— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) February 11, 2023