Against all odds, José Aldo looked fantastic, and in some ways, completely rejuvenated at 135lbs as he used a pressure-heavy style of offense to break down his UFC 245 opponent Marlon Moraes over three rounds.
Even with that being the case, the judges saw it as a split-decision in favour of Moraes as a result of his strong work in rounds one and three.
The fight, round-by-round, was very closely contested but all things considered, Aldo was clearly the more effective fighter of the two by some distance.
In his post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White gave his thoughts on the fight and how he too was in some ways surprised and shocked by the decision.
”[Aldo] won the fight. Listen, you can’t win a fight running backwards for two rounds. It doesn’t work that way.
“I don’t know what those judges were watching. To give that fight to Marlon is crazy. But he won it.
On top of that, White revealed that the current champion Cejudo – who, of course, holds a recent win over Moraes – called on him to treat Aldo as if he got the nod from the judges.
Surprisingly, White, who famously abstains from making comments on future fights on fight-night, seemed to be open to the idea – going as far as to forecast some genuine discussions on the topic in the near future.
“Cejudo hit me up tonight and said ‘Jose Aldo absolutely won that fight and I think you should treat him like he won that fight.’ He said ‘I want Jose Aldo.’
”’Awesome.’ What would I say to that? I’m not going to say no. I said ‘Awesome.’ I don’t know, we’ll see. That’s what he wants.
“Cejudo is the man right now so we’ll talk about it. Tuesday we’ll all get together and have a matchmaking meeting and start talking about what happens as a result of tonight.”
Cejudo, who hasn’t fought since his incredible UFC 238 victory over Moraes, is expected to defend his flyweight title before taking on a bantamweight challenger.
However, given the number of massive fights that await him at 135lbs, there’s every chance that his 125lb rival Joseph Benavidez may be forced to wait once again as his division stays in a state of uncertainty.
As you would expect, the man who took home a Performance Of The Night-winning knockout of Urijah Faber on the same card, Petr Yan, was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of being passed up by the Brazilian.
Taking to his official Twitter, Yan called on his fans to voice their disapproval at the fact that a losing fighter is being looked at for a title-matchup ahead of several of the division’s top contenders.
Only time will tell how Dana and co. manage this one but if one thing is for certain, it’s that Aldo has managed to put a lot of doubt to bed with a performance as solid as any he has given in recent times.