Jose Aldo was unsuccessful in his bantamweight debut, losing a competitive decision to former 135-pound title challenger Marlon Moraes at UFC 245 in December. That mattered little to bantamweight champ Henry Cejudo, however, with the champ immediately calling for a fight with the former longtime featherweight champion. UFC president Dana White backed the idea, and now, after months of further callouts from Cejudo, the fight is on.
White confirmed to ESPN that the fight is now official for UFC 250, which takes place on Saturday, May 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Aldo will join fellow Brazilian fight legends Fabrício Werdum, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rogerio Nogueira at the event. Werdum battles Alexey Oleynik in heavyweight action, while Rua and Nogueira fight each other at light heavyweight for a third time.
Cejudo will be making the first defense of the title he won by knocking out Moraes in a bout for the vacant championship at UFC 238 in June 2019. The win made Cejudo a two-division champion, adding to the flyweight title he captured with a controversial decision win over Demetrious Johnson and successfully defended against former bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. Cejudo has since made the move to bantamweight full-time, vacating the flyweight title in the process.
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During an 18-fight unbeaten streak that lasted from 2006 to 2015, Aldo became established as the greatest featherweight in history, winning the WEC championship and successfully defending it twice. He was later promoted to UFC champion and won seven more title fights before a stunning 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194. Following the loss to McGregor, Aldo went 3-3 at featherweight before making the decision to drop to bantamweight. While many questioned the move to 135 pounds as Aldo had struggled at times to make 145, he put in a competitive performance against Moraes but ultimately came up short by split decision.
Speaking with the media ahead of January’s UFC 246 event, White confirmed the desire to move ahead with Aldo vs. Cejudo despite Aldo’s 3-5 record since 2015, likening making the fight to the promotion booking Israel Adesanya’s middleweight title defense against Yoel Romero.
“A lot of people think Jose Aldo won,” White said. “A lot of people think he didn’t. I told you guys the night of the fight, Henry Cejudo hit me up and said, ‘Aldo won that fight, that was bulls—.’ He wants that fight. Israel Adesanya wants to fight Yoel Romero. How does that make sense? It doesn’t make sense. You know what makes sense? Israel Adesanya’s such a bad ass he wants to fight the guy nobody wants to fight.”