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Fighter Jose Aldo at UFC 136 on October 8, 2011 at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX. (Photo by Patrick Green/ Icon Sportswire)
August 2nd, 2021
The crossroads clash between Jose Aldo (29-7) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5) has been elevated to the co-main spot of UFC 265 following Amanda Nunes' unexpected withdrawal.
Both men are fighting to stay alive in the bantamweight division, and we have the call ahead of their fight on Saturday, Aug. 7.
Aldo has lost more than he’s won over his last 10 fights, but the former champion still has something left in the tank after he turned in a vintage performance in a win over Marlon Vera last December. For what it’s worth, Aldo’s losses have all been mostly competitive against the best fighters across bantamweight and featherweight.
With a five-inch advantage in reach and excellent takedown defense, Aldo can control the action with his kickboxing and trademark toughness. Though he’s had his share of wars throughout his career, he still has plenty left to offer.
Munhoz looked solid defeating Jimmy Rivera last February, but questions remain about how good he really is. Prior to beating Rivera, he was effortlessly beaten by Aljamain Sterling and lost a split decision to the badly faded Frankie Edgar.
What Munhoz lacks in experience, he makes up for in durability. Throughout his professional career, Munhoz has yet to be stopped or submitted. Also, he hasn’t picked up as many miles as the future hall of fame opponent he’ll be facing Saturday night.
Both fighters recently ended prolonged losing streaks behind strong striking performances, but Munhoz’s body of work and lack of success outside B-level competition is enough to stick with Aldo. Not only is he the better striker, Munhoz doesn’t have the physical style or wherewithal to really push the aging Aldo early.
From the beginning, Aldo will get into a rhythm and pick off Munhoz’s attempts to target his legs and body, countering as he goes. Once he starts timing Munhoz, he’ll transition to attack mode and really give him a good working over. A fresher Aldo would gun for a stoppage, but he’ll be crafty enough to rack up the points.
Even this version of Aldo is too much for a rudimentary fighter like Munhoz to handle. Expect the veteran to win his second straight fight by outworking Munhoz and earning a decision.
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