After an unprecedented run of dominance that saw him remain undefeated for a decade, defending his featherweight title nine times, Jose Aldo has now lost two of his last three bouts and the questions are starting to mount. Is Aldo done? Did Conor McGregor break his chin? Is his heart not in it anymore? Where does he go from here? Boxing, really?
Well, now there’s an answer to one of those questions as Aldo will rematch Ricardo Lamas at UFC Winnipeg on Dec. 16. Aldo won their first fight by unanimous decision but this will be unfamiliar territory for the former featherweight champ as it will be Aldo’s first time on free television since 2010 and his first three-round fight since 2009. All these variables beg the question, what will Aldo look like coming off that loss to Max Holloway and UFC analyst Kenny Florian is wondering the same thing.
On the most recent edition of The Anik & Florian Podcast, Florian responded to a question from Anik about “what version of Aldo” they would see at UFC Winnipeg, and Aldo’s former foe said he was unsure, in part because he believed Aldo looked disinterested in the loss to Holloway.
“That’s the big question for me because although he was winning the majority of that fight against Max Holloway, early on especially, as the fight went on it seemed like it was the Jose Aldo that kind of loses interest in the fight,” Florian said. “It seemed like maybe he was a little bit bored or didn’t want to work as hard as he normally does during the fight. He didn’t have that same kind of pep in his step and Holloway just took it to him, kept pressuring him backwards and Holloway just broke him mentally and then took him out with skill. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”
Beautiful and violent. After losing the first two rounds, Holloway stopped Aldo in the third with a barrage of strikes. It was Aldo’s third career loss and only his second in the UFC, the other being his embarrassing 13-second knockout to McGregor. Aldo rebounded from the that loss with aplomb, beating Frankie Edgar in one of the best performances of his career but Florian says that this one is a different animal and the way Aldo looks against Lamas will let everyone know if the best days of the former champion are behind him or not.