Jose Aldo is leaving Houston with the UFC featherweight title still in his possession.
Though Kenny Florian pushed him for the full 25 minutes and took the opening round, the champion rebounded to run the table through the final four rounds, earning 49-46 scores from all three judges to extend his winning streak to 13 and retain the 145 pound championship.
Aldo was caught off balance by Florian in the first, as the challenger pressed into the clinch and utilized an assortment of leg kicks to prevent the champion from attacking. Aldo picked his spots well in the second, and dominated the third, transitioning to mount. While unable to inflict much damage, he controlled the action throughout the middle frame, and took a two-rounds-to-one edge into the championship stanzas.
Florian continued to press the action, but Aldo was still the one landing the more significant strikes, catching Florian coming in with straight rights, and using an inside leg kick to halt the challenger’s forward movement. While the fourth was close, the fifth was again dominated by Aldo, who took advantage of a Florian slip to once again control the action the mat.
When the final bell sounded, the reactions of the two fighters said it all — Aldo raised his hands in victory, while Florian put his hands on his hips, an exasperated look on his face.
The victory cements Aldo as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport, and leaves Florian’s future uncertain.