The fight itself was reminiscent of what Florian tried against B.J. Penn in his second title fight, but the results were both with Florian ending up with a loss.
Florian opens up the first round with a few leg kicks. Then Florian decides to shoot for a takedown and Aldo easily stuffs it and lands devastating strikes. Shortly after Florian breaks away and then goes back to shooting for a takedown after takedown against the fence, but Aldo is able to stuff all the takedowns. Towards the end of the round, Florian kept pushing forward with the takedown against the fence and was able to land an elbow.
Round two Florian utilizes much more of his leg kicks and the pace of the fight slows. Aldo seems a bit timid but lands a few thunderous leg kicks in the round and a nice straight right hand. From there Florian was able to counter a leg kick attempt from Aldo.
The third round beings and Aldo seems to unload with his hands a bit more. Aldo continues with an inside leg kick that buckles Florian and tags Florian with some solid strikes. At about the half way mark, Florian is off balance and ends up on the bottom and Aldo keeps working for position and Florian was able to defend well and nullify Aldo, although Aldo did get the mount at one point. Towards the end of the round Aldo would break away from Florian and when the fight restarted on the feet, Florian would press hard for the takedown against the fence but couldn’t secure it.
Aldo gets back to work on Florian’s left leg on round four and the swelling is clearly evident. At the half way mark, Florian works for a single against the fence but he couldn’t secure the takedown. Aldo appears to be a bit slower but still keeps fending off takedown after takedown from Florian. At the end of the round Aldo is able to get off a right hand and a kick to the body.
The final round starts with Florian pressing for the takedown yet again and the crowd boos Florian. After the two men separate Florian goes for a knee but slips and Aldo is able to pass to full mount. Florian would then quickly escape from full mount and put Aldo into half guard and as Aldo tried to mount, Florian would get back to his feet. With a minute left to go Aldo pressed Florian against the fence and Florian reverses Aldo. At the end of the round Aldo attempts a flying knee and a roundhouse kick that don’t find the mark.
After a grueling five round bout, the judges awarded Aldo a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
“It played out great, he’s a very strategic fighter, so he’s a very smart and experienced guy, so I just had to go in there and impose my game,” Aldo said post-fight.
“I expected him to try to pin me against the cage. I saw him try to do that against B.J. Penn and he did the exact same thing, and I just had to defend it. He was always trying to take me down, I knew I could land more kicks but I had to defend takedowns.”
After the win over Florian, Aldo defended his UFC title for the second time and continues to solidify him as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.