Before UFC 129 the fighting world had nothing but positive things to say about Jose Aldo. He was, after all, the reigning WEC champion and had beaten everyone he faced in spectacular fashion. He even dismantled the face of the WEC, "The California Kid" Urijah Faber. All was good in Aldo's world. Until he met Mark Hominick.
At UFC 129 Mark Hominick showed the world that Jose Aldo was not invincible. Even with a grapefruit sized hematoma on his head, Hominick showed the world that the champion could be out-worked if you can survive the first couple of rounds. In fact, had the fight gone another round, Aldo may have ended up with a loss. He was visibly gassed and looked to minimize damage and hang on until the final bell. Luckily for him, what he did in the early rounds gave him the decision victory.
At UFC 136, Aldo faces a wiley veteran in Ultimate Fighter alum and ESPN Analyst Kenny "Ken-Flo" Florian. Florian is a student of the game and he undoubtedly watched the Hominick fight to study what made Hominick successful. Florian will attempt to capitalize on counter opportunities left after aggressive strikes from Aldo.
Aldo should stay aggressively cautious. Florian has finished nine opponents via submission, so Aldo doesn't want to put himself in a bad position with a reckless strike attempt. If he manages his striking and uses good takedown defense, he should win this fight.
A win in glorious fashion wouldn't put to bed the demons of the Hominick fight; they would only create a public outcry for a rematch between the two provided that Hominick gets past Chan Sung Jung at UFC 140.
A loss would only solidify the fact that Jose was a one trick pony. It would show that he’s only a knockout artist that can't make it through the latter stages of a championship fight. This may not be true, but it's up to Jose Aldo to prove that.
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