ESPN+ is providing fight fans with another fantastic main card. UFC Fortaleza will feature a rematch of Assuncao v. Moraes after a close split decision in June of 2017. But in the co-main event, Jose Aldo begins his farewell campaign with a matchup against Renato Moicano! Sprinkle in a little Demian Maia and newcomer Johnny Walker (no, not the drink) this is an entertaining card. So let’s break down the main events!
Raphael Assuncao (27-5) vs. Marlon “Magic” Moraes (21-5-1)
Moraes dropped a split decision in the first matchup with Assuncao, but he was making his UFC debut. Blame it on nerves or Assuncao’s slow-paced fighting style, Moraes fell into a slow, low output type of fight. That is not his strong suit. Moraes is coming off of two quick knockouts of Aljamain Sterling and Jimmy Rivera. Two fights in which he was in the cage for a combined 1:40.
Assuncao is a deep water fighter. He has won 11 of his last 14 fights by decision, but the guy is a killer. His only bantamweight loss is to the current champion T.J. Dillashaw, but he gets overlooked due to his less-than-flashy fighting style.
Personally, I think Moraes has matured in the UFC octagon and will have made the proper adjustments in this rematch. I want him to come out and pressure Assuncao. If he does, it won’t be a quick victory but he can force Assuncao to fight a more uptempo fight. However, if Assuncao is able to lure Moares into a slow methodical fight, Assuncao will probably walk away with the victory.
PREDICTION:✔ Marlon Moraes (RND
2 1) TKO
Jose “Scarface” Aldo (27-4) vs. Renato “Moicano” Carneiro (13-1-1)
Jose Aldo has made no secret of his retirement plans. Fight three times in 2019 in Brazil and he is off into the sunset, with a historic MMA career behind him. The first of those three fights pits him against the well-rounded Renato Moicano. With three of Aldo’s four losses coming in his last five fights, it would seem Aldo is waning. But that isn’t true. His losses came at the hands of Conor McGregor and Max Holloway (twice), before stopping Jeremy Stephens with a crippling body shot.
Now Aldo has to take on Moicano to continue the farewell campaign in the win column. Moicano is coming off a performance where he destroyed Cub Swanson, submitting him at the end of the first round. His one and only loss came at the hands of Brian Ortega, in a very tightly contested bout. Renato showed great striking before going for a takedown late in the fight, getting caught in a guillotine choke and subsequently losing in the third round.
Has Aldo looked vulnerable as of late? Yes. Is he still one of the best to every fight at featherweight? Also yes. Does that mean he will walk through Moicano? Probably not, but win or lose, this will be a top-level fight for fans!