(This post originally appeared on MMAFrenzy.)
Since Jose Aldo has been stopped in three of his last four fights, some have argued that the legend’s championship days are behind him. Based off recent comments Jeremy Stephens made, it sounds like “Lil’ Heathen’s” in that camp as well.
Aldo and Stephens will battle this Saturday at UFC on FOX 30, which will go down in Calgary, Alberta. The bout will be the first time Aldo has fought, since he was taken out by reigning featherweight champ, Max Holloway, last December. That fight marked the second time Holloway defeated the former champ, as he also stopped Aldo in June.
“I mean, look at his face,” said Stephens. “It’s droopin’. He’s been in a lot of wars. He’s been in a lot of fights. The guy’s got a lot of damage. Not only that, just the training camps that he’s had. And I’ll get my chance to expose him, and I’ll do exactly what I said.
“I’m not saying things to lie. These are facts. These are pure facts. Check it out, after July 28th, we’ll be talking about it again. You’ll be like, damn, he was right. I’m gonna expose this dude.”
There’s certainly no denying that Aldo has been involved in a lot of lengthy battles. But, some would point out that his only losses in ten plus years, have come against two of the top fighters of this generation: Holloway and Conor McGregor. After Aldo was quickly bombed out by McGregor, he looked fantastic in his second bout against Frankie Edgar, and won via UD.
So is Aldo slower at the age of 31? Is his chin less durable at this stage of the game? It’s possible, and a guy who has made a career of testing chins to their fullest, is Stephens. As the bout approaches, Stephens is riding a three fight winning streak, which includes stoppage wins over Doo Ho Choi and Josh Emmett.
Can he defeat the legend and move it to four? It’s going to be fascinating to see if “Lil’ Heathen” can.
UFC on FOX 30 will be hosted by the ScotiaBank Saddledome. In the main event, former lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez will take on Dustin Poirier.