Jose Aldo returned to the win column at UFC Calgary, as the Brazilian picked up his first stoppage win since 2013 by dropping Jeremy Stephens with a body shot then securing the first round TKO with some ground and pound.
What was the high point of the fight?
Both men started the fight with an aggressive pace, exchanging some heavy leg kicks early on. An uppercut from Stephens appeared to stun Aldo and forced the Brazilian up against the fence for a moment, but he fired back by swinging some heavy shots of his own and the two continued to engage in the pocket.
A devastating left hook to the body sent Stephens crumbling to the floor, and Aldo began to storm in for the finish. After following up with some ground and pound, referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight and awarded Aldo the victory.
Where do these two go from here?
Playing matchmaker for Aldo at the moment is tough, as the 31-year-old has recently stated he will retire after his current UFC deal is up. With just two fights left on his deal, another title fight against the current champion Max Holloway seems unlikely, so maybe a trilogy fight with Chad Mendes would be a fun one to make.
The loss for Stephens is a huge setback in his path towards title contention. A win against Aldo would have propelled “Lil Heathen” into the title picture, but he will now have to work his way back up to featherweight gold. A rematch against Josh Emmett, or a fight against the surging Mirsad Bektic both make sense for Stephens.
Watch it now, later or never?
Watch it now, to see the brutal body shot by Aldo that led to the finish.