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After Successful Homecomings, Next Bouts For Jose Aldo And Alexandre Pantoja Following UFC 301 Fight Fallout


UFC 301 marked a triumphant homecoming for two Rio legends. Both UFC flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja and UFC Hall of Famer Jose Aldo showcased their prowess in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this past Saturday. With UFC 301 now in the books, the focus shifts to their next challenges.

Pantoja exhibited his trademark tenacity to fend off title challenger Steve Erceg, culminating in another successful defense of his flyweight belt. Following an intense 10 months with 15 championship rounds, the champion rightfully seeks a well-deserved hiatus. However, when Pantoja returns, one standout contender emerges as a worthy opponent.

Meanwhile, Aldo, the former featherweight king, delivered a vintage performance that defied age and expectations. Displaying sharpened skills and unwavering speed, Aldo outclassed a UFC-ranked bantamweight much younger than him. As he concludes his UFC contract, the possibilities are endless. Should Aldo opt to continue, a dream matchup against another former champion beckons.

Looking ahead, here are the top matchups to anticipate post-UFC 301:

UFC Flyweight Championship
– Alexandre Pantoja (c) vs. Amir Albazi: While not a marquee matchup, the current landscape in the flyweight division lacks standout contenders. With Bradon Royval sidelined after his defeat to Pantoja, and Brandon Moreno on a losing streak, third-ranked Albazi emerges as a compelling challenger. With an impressive six-fight winning streak, including victories over UFC opponents, Albazi poses an intriguing challenge for Pantoja.

Jose Aldo vs. Dominick Cruz
: Assuming Aldo remains with the UFC and forgoes a potential boxing venture on the Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson undercard, a matchup against Dominick Cruz presents an enticing prospect. Aldo’s seamless return against Jonathan Martinez signals his intentions for the bantamweight title. While a title shot may not be imminent at 37, a bout against Cruz, currently ranked 11th, offers a compelling storyline between two former champions. If at first, they didn’t succeed, a rematch presents an opportunity for redemption.

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