Alexander Volkanovski put his hopes of getting a shot at Max Holloway’s featherweight title beyond any doubt with a strong showing against José Aldo.
It was a characteristically abrasive performance from the Australian, one that saw him outland and generally out-work his Brazilian adversary from the first bell to the last.
Aldo just never really seemed to get going and while he didn’t exactly absorb a massive amount of damage, his opponent’s pressure on the feet and utilisation of solid clinch-work up against the fence allowed him to grab momentum early on.
Once he had it, he rarely relented during the fight’s fifteen-minute run-time.
And while nothing should be taken away from Volkanovski and his win, it didn’t exactly look as though Aldo was as fired up as he should have been under the circumstances.
Who knows exactly how things were during his fight-camp but it really didn’t seem as though we were seeing the same Aldo who ran through Renato Moicano and Jeremy Stephens in his previous outings.
With just one fight after this one left on his UFC contract, in front of the crowd of his countrymen, who knows what led to such a tame showing from the former-champ, but if one thing is for certain, it’s that the 145lb division has a new number 1 contender.
In the end, the judges saw it unanimously in Volkanovski’s favour, as he moves to 7-0 in the UFC and 20-1 as a professional.
In 2012, Alexander Volkanovski gave up a pro rugby league career to focus on MMA. Jose Aldo was 3-0 in the UFC.
— Watch UFC 237 live on BT Sport (@btsportufc) May 12, 2019
One would have to assume that a showdown between Aldo’s conqueror and the reigning champion Holloway will happen before the year is out, although, it’s hard to know how much time Max will take to recover and get his body ready for what should be another harrowing cut down to 145lbs.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena