UFC 237: Aldo vs. Volkanovski – Preview

As the octagon heads back to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil — a contest that couldn’t be any more important for the featherweight division is set to take place.

One man who once ruled the UFC continues his ascent back up to the top of the division — whilst a hungry contender aims to prove why he should be next in line for a world title shot.

Jose Aldo is a Brazilian hero, and the support he’s set to receive in the arena on Saturday night will certainly make for a hostile environment for the Australian Alexander Volkanovski.

Aldo is arguably the greatest featherweight in history. He ruled the division for a whole decade, during which he dealt with absolutely everyone that was put in front of him.

The likes of all time greats such as Cub Swanson, Uriah Faber, Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes weren’t enough to put an end to the seemingly unstoppable reign of Jose Aldo.

However, despite this phenomenal winning run, the way the world perceived Jose Aldo changed in just one night.

Irish superstar Conor McGregor goaded Aldo in one of the most highly anticipated grudge matches in the sport’s history. At UFC 194, Aldo’s reign was ended in just thirteen seconds. The Brazilian was left heartbroken, as he went from being the most feared man on the planet, to being the man who was beaten by McGregor with the first punch of the fight.

But despite that, Aldo was desperate to get his hands back on the gold and in his very next fight he defeated Frankie Edgar once again for the interim title. After McGregor decided to remain at lightweight, Aldo reclaimed his place on the featherweight throne.

Unfortunately, he would then go on to lose his next two fights to Max Holloway, both in brutal fashion. He was finished in the third round of both bouts. It was then when the fans and experts began to question what the great Brazilian had left to offer.

His next two performances answered the critics and then some. He blew away a very heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens with a brutal body shot, and followed that up by simply overawing Renato Moicano. This weekend in front of his adoring public, he’ll be looking to continue his miraculous comeback. But the man in the opposite corner will certainly have very different ideas.

‘The Great’ Alexander Volkanovski was born to be an athlete. A standout rugby player and wrestler in his younger years — he was always destined to be a professional sportsman. In 2012, he made the decision to switch from rugby to the sport he was most passionate about.

He tore apart the Australian MMA scene, amassing a 13-1 professional record before the call from the UFC inevitably came. After his second fight in the UFC, he began working in the same gym as Israel Adesanya and training with high level athlete’s day in day out — which he believes is the reason why he has developed into being one of the most formidable featherweights in the world.

At UFC 232 he was met with the toughest challenge of his career, the former world title challenger Chad Mendes. The American is renowned for his wrestling and heavy hands, but he was ultimately torn apart by the relentless Australian warrior.

With that win, Volkanovski had announced himself to the whole world, and he couldn’t have made a bigger statement. But now in Brazil, an even bigger challenge awaits — and that challenge is Jose Aldo.

At UFC 237, two featherweights will collide on what may be one of the best tear ups of the year. Jose Aldo will be looking to continue his excellent return from adversity, but Volkanovski is desperate to tear up the script and defeat the Brazilian in his own back yard to keep his momentum heading towards the strap. Regardless of the result, this fight has all the ingredients of a real cracker, and all MMA fans will be watching this one on the edge of their seats.

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