Jose Aldo Makes MMA Comeback At UFC 301 In Rio Against Jonathan Martinez

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Jose Aldo retired from MMA in September of 2022, but now he’s set to make an unexpected comeback against Jonathan Martinez at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 4th.

The 37-year-old Aldo’s last fight for the UFC had been at UFC 278 in August of 2022 and saw him suffer a unanimous decision loss to the bantamweight force-of-nature that is Merab Dvalishvili.

However, the former featherweight champion had won three fights in a row prior to that against notable opponents in Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz and Marlon Vera.

With that in mind he could have easily kept on competing in the UFC, but the star had long harbored an ambition to fight in the boxing ring and so despite still having one fight remaining on his contract he managed to negotiate with the promotion to let him retire and compete in other sports.

Last year Aldo began his boxing career, starting with an exhibition bout, which he won by unanimous decision. He then turned pro against a familiar foe in fellow UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens, who he had previously TKO’d in the Octagon back in 2018. However, on this occasion in the boxing ring they fought to a majority draw. Aldo has since gone on to win another fight against an unheralded opponent by unanimous decision.

So Aldo’s boxing hasn’t exactly set the boxing world on fire so far, and it’s not clear at this stage whether ‘The King Of Rio’s’ UFC return is just a one-off to honor the final fight on his deal, or if he now intends to re-focus his career back to the sport that made him a star.

Perhaps it may depend on how he performs in his upcoming fight, and if so he’s certainly not been handed an easy fight for his comeback as though the 29-year-old Martinez is only ranked No.14 in the 135lb division he’s a skilled fighter on a six-fight winning streak, beating the likes of Cub Swanson, Said Nurmagomedov and Adrian Yanez along the way.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.