UFC Fight Night 144 results: Jose Aldo finishes off Renato Moicano for impressive win
Aldo took a minute to settle in, but looked like his old self in the second-round victory
If Saturday's performance was merely a taste of what Jose Aldo's 2019 victory lap is going to be like, buckle up for a wild ride.
Aldo (28-4), the former two-time UFC featherweight king, sent a partisan and delirious Brazilian crowd home happy with a vicious second-round TKO of 145-pound contender Renato Moicano in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night in Fortaleza.
The 32-year-old Aldo has said all week that he plans to retire at the end of 2019 after fighting out his UFC contract and hopes all three of fights this year will take place in Brazil. It's a notion that Saturday's crowd likely agrees with considering the steady chants throughout the fight and Aldo's high-wire celebration act after the win which included leaping the cage and celebrating within a mob of fans.
"Tonight I came in here as the underdog and no one believed in me but I knew that I would have your guys' support," Aldo said, through an interpreter, after the fight. "In life, there are things you are going to have to do that people won't believe in you for but you have to go after your dreams."
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Moicano (13-2-1) did well to hang with Aldo in the opening around as the two fighters traded counter shots repeatedly, with Aldo making a targeted effort to attack the body. One round later, it was a left hook to the midsection from Aldo that visibly hurt his Brazilian countryman in the opening minute.
Aldo followed with a three-punch combination upstairs before aggressively stalking Moicano with power shots and refusing to allow him to take cover. The violent assault included hard hooks to the body, which lowered Moicano's guard and allowed Aldo to connect with a left uppercut and a right hook just as referee Jerin Valel jumped in at 44 seconds of Round 2 to rescue Moicano on his feet.
"I wanted to vary my shots to hit him high and hit him low," Aldo said. "He's a little bit taller so I wanted to exploit his body a little more."
The victory for Aldo paired well with his body-shot knockout of Jeremy Stephens last July to help put a pair of knockout title losses to current featherweight champion Max Holloway deeper into the rearview mirror.
"We'll have to see who is next but I really want to fight on the next card in Brazil in May," Aldo said.
Moicano, 31, suffered his second defeat in his last four bouts, including a submission loss to Brian Ortega in 2017.
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