Former UFC Champion Jose Aldo Returning To Action At UFC 301

Jose Aldo
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

In a surprise move, former champion Jose Aldo is returning to UFC 301.

Aldo will unretire and complete his contract, taking on Jonathan Martinez. The bout has been confirmed by ESPN.

Related: UFC 301 Receives Championship Match With Brazil Native Alexandre Pantoja

Set for May 4, the event takes place from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In the main event, Alexandre Pantoja defends his flyweight championship against Steve Erceg.

Aldo, a former WEC and UFC featherweight champion, left the promotion after a 2022 loss to Merab Dvalishvili. His last official win inside the Octagon came in 2021 when he topped Rob Font.

Since his UFC exit, Aldo has fought three times. He battled Jeremy Stephens to a draw in a boxing match and topped Esteban Gabriel Espindola. He also had an exhibition with Emmanuel Zambrano.

Aldo was involved in eight pay-per-view events that generated at least 175,000 buys. The biggest was his 2015 meeting with Conor McGregor that brought in 1.2 million.

Martinez, a 29-year-old from Los Angeles, is 19-4 overall and on a six-fight win streak. He finished Adrian Yanez this past October has won 10 of his 13 fights with the promotion.

The bout is expected to take place in the bantamweight division.

Jose Aldo Return Highlights UFC 301 Card

The Aldo vs. Martinez fight will likely serve as the co-main event to Pantoja vs. Erceg.

Other previously announced pairings include Michel Pereia vs. Makhmud Muradov and Anthony Smith vs. Vitor Petrino.

Read More: Jose Aldo Named To UFC Hall Of Fame Class Of 2023

The card marks the 12th visit to Rio de Janeiro and first since UFC 283. The Farmasi Arena can hold over 15,000 fans.

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