Back at UFC 249 in May of this year, a prime Henry Cejudo shocked the MMA world after knocking out former bantamweight king Dominick Cruz in the second round. He then proceeded to retire post-fight at the age of 34 after becoming only the second fighter in UFC history to defend titles in two different weight divisions.
Immediately there were two questions. One, is Henry seriously retiring? Once that it was established, he was indeed going through with what he said. The next question was who’s fighting for the Vacant belt? Most people assumed Aljamain Sterling vs Petr Yan would be booked, but Dana White had other ideas.
When speaking to ESPN, Dana Said
“I’ll break this right here and right now but my people are probably going to kill me for this one… But Cejudo has retired so we are talking about Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant title. We don’t have a date or a place set for that but that’s the fight we are looking at right now.”
Jose Aldo of course gives his nod of approval coming off a controversial loss in his Bantamweight debut to Marlon Moraes.
Even with him being only the third fighter in UFC history to fight for a title off two consecutive non-title losses; Aldo when speaking to MMA junkie had this to say about any controversy.
”I’m not worried about that… I won that fight. Even the judges afterward said they agree with me. I beat Marlon, who’s the No. 1 contender, so it doesn’t bother me at all. I deserve to be here.”
You can definitely see his reasoning behind that statement, the former Featherweight kingpin enters the bout with a pro record of 28-6 (10-5 UFC) and looks to become only the 8th fighter in UFC history to have won belts in two different weight divisions. He will have to do so as a moderate(+195) underdog.
His opponent Petr Yan has other ideas of what will transpire Saturday night when speaking to BJPEEN.com said.
“Our styles match up very well, I believe it will be a very exciting fight. I will control the fight and dictate how this fight will go… It will be my pace, my distance, and my terms. Right now, I don’t think about my legacy. I am just 100 percent focused on winning the title in the most dominant fashion.”
Yan enters the fight as the moderate (-250) favorite with a pro record of 14-1(6-0 UFC). And looks to become the undisputed champ in just his 7th UFC appearance.
My prediction: Round 1 will start off with both men being very tactical. Aldo will throw some leg kicks which he hardly throws anymore that will start to land and give him the slight edge in what will be an uneventful feel out round. Round 2 sees Yan start to open up a bit more and pick up the pressure on Aldo. While having José up against the fence, Yan breaks away and starts to put together combinations that end with a big head kick to drop Aldo who will be unable to recover. Yan jumps in on him and gets the KO/TKO late in round 2 to become the undisputed Bantamweight champion.