Jose Aldo confirms return fight at UFC 301 was set to come against Dominick Cruz before clash was shelved

Jose Aldo confirms UFC 301 return fight was set to come against Dominick Cruz before clash was scrapped

Slated to snap his almost two-year hiatus from mixed martial arts next weekend at UFC 301 in a homecoming return, former featherweight kingpin, Jose Aldo has confirmed his return bout was supposed to come against another former champion, Dominick Cruz, before the bout was scrapped.

Aldo, a former undisputed WEC and UFC featherweight gold holder, has been sidelined from the Octagon since 2022, most recently suffering a unanimous decision defeat in a blemish against surging number one contender, Merab Dvalishvili.

Aldo HOF 2
Mandatory Credit: Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

And slated to make his return to action next weekend in Rio de Janeiro, Hall of Fame inductee, Aldo takes on Jonathan Martinez in the co-main event of UFC 301 in a Brazilian homecoming, however, a long-anticipated clash featuring the Manaus favorite was briefly in the works.

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Jose Aldo reveals Dominick Cruz fight was scrapped from UFC 301

Sharing his thoughts on a pairing with Martinez, Aldo confirmed that initially, the promotion had floated a long-rumored ‘super fight’ of olden days against former two-time bantamweight champion, Cruz, until the American veteran was forced from a pairing due to undisclosed issues.

Jose Aldo snaps retirement set to fight at UFC 301 against Jonathan Martinez in Brazil
Mandatory Credit: Chris Unger – Zuffa LLC

“Just spoke with ‘The King of Rio’ Jose Aldo, who confirmed that Dominick Cruz was initially supposed to be his opponent at UFC 301,” Sportsnet reporter, Aaron Bronsteter posted on his official X account. “Aldo had heard that Cruz had an issue during his camp that forced him to withdraw, which led to the booking against Jonathan Martinez.”

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Himself sidelined since he took main event status at UFC Fight Night San Diego, Cruz suffered a devastating fourth round high-kick KO loss to most recent title challenger, Marlon Vera in the pair’s title-eliminator – snapping his two fight winning run almost two years ago.

Dominick Cruz
Mandatory Credit: Carmen Mandato

UFC 301 takes place on May 4. from the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, with an undisputed flyweight championship fight between Alexandre Pantoja, and Steve Erceg set to take main event honors

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Would you still like to see Jose Aldo fight Dominick Cruz in the future?