The newest addition to the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster of world champions, featherweight titleholder Jose Aldo, will make his Octagon debut on Jan. 1 when he defends his 145-pound crown against 22-year-old phenom Josh Grispi in the co-main event at UFC 125: Resolution at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Two titles will be on the line during this New Year’s Day card as Frankie Edgar, coming off back-to-back wins over UFC great B.J. Penn, defends his title in a rematch against undefeated No. 1 contender Gray Maynard in the main event.
“Jose Aldo is one of the best fighters in the world, pound for pound, and you’ll see why on Jan. 1,” said UFC president Dana White. “Aldo can do it all, and his historic arrival in the UFC as its first featherweight champion is going to set an exciting new standard. But Josh Grispi is a finisher, and he’s got every intention of taking the featherweight title back to Boston.”
This bout marks the first time a featherweight championship match is being held in the UFC Octagon, adding a historic touch to a stacked event which features the UFC lightweight title fight between champion Edgar and the undefeated Maynard, as well as featured matchups that include Clay Guida vs. Takanori Gomi, Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann, Nate Diaz vs. Dong Hyun Kim, and Brandon Vera vs. Thiago Silva.
A high-ranking resident of the pound-for-pound list, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s Jose Aldo (18-1) has taken the world by storm since his debut in the World Extreme Cagefighting organization in 2008. Winner of eight in a row in the organization, including wins over Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Manvel Gamburyan, Jonathan Brookins, and Cub Swanson, Aldo’s dynamic style and finishing power has drawn comparisons to some of the greatest fighters to ever lace up the gloves, including countryman and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. Now the 24-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt brings his otherworldly talent to the Octagon for what is expected to be his toughest test to date.
The 22-year-old Boston native Josh Grispi (14-1) may be nicknamed “The Fluke,” but his performances over the last two years have been anything but lucky. A gifted battler who can handle himself wherever the fight goes, Grispi’s last five wins have seen him finish The Ultimate Fighter 12’s Spencer Paige, Mark Hominick, Micah Miller, former UFC champ Jens Pulver, and LC Davis all in the first round, with no bout lasting more than 2:55. At UFC 125 on Jan. 1, he’ll make his UFC debut with an opportunity to add a championship belt and another high-profile victim to his resume.