UFC 265 in Houston, TX will get underway Saturday, with the early prelims starting at 6 PM EST and the main card closer to 10 PM. In what will be one of the first cards away from Vegas and in front of a packed arena, fight fans are in for a treat with a card that is stacked from top to bottom.
Before the main event gets underway in the heavyweight division, a pair of top 10 bantamweights will go at it in the co-main.
Let’s take a closer look.
Betting Profile: Jose Aldo (28-7-0)
Last Five Fights
A Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a Black belt in Luta livre, few fighters in this division are more accomplished than Aldo inside and outside the octagon. A former featherweight champ who defended the belt seven times before ultimately losing it to Conor McGregor, Aldo made the move to bantamweight in 2019, in retrospect a questionable one.
Having gone 1-2 in his fights since Aldo got his first win in the division in December and comes into Saturday looking for #2.
From a metrics standpoint, Aldo has the edge in significant strikes landed in this one (45% vs. 43%) but lands less per minute at just 3.45 (vs. 5.6). While his takedowns are nearly twice as accurate, he loses both the takedown and submission averages per 15 minutes by .09 and .65, respectively.
Betting Profile: Pedro Munhoz (19-5-0)
Last Five Fights
For Munhoz, a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in his own right, striking has been his victory of choice lately, with two of his last three wins going by way of KO/TKO. We also last saw him in the octagon around the start of the year, a unanimous decision win against Jimmie Rivera that put him inside the top 10 bantamweights.
As mentioned, Munhoz holds edges nearly across the board in striking and grappling, with the most important being focused around grappling. I expect him to make an effort to take this one to the ground accordingly.
On paper, it’s hard to find two more equal fighters in the promotion with not only similar records, ethnicities, size, and age (born 2 days apart) but stylistically as well. The one edge that I think Munhoz does have is his ability on the ground, which I think we see play out in this one.
With so much parity, I lean toward the numbers, which point to Munhoz in this one.
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