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As has been noted on these pages countless times, combat sports retirements are often temporary affairs.

Close to two years after his most recent bout in the UFC, former longtime featherweight champion Jose Aldo has confirmed that he will make his comeback to the organisation at May’s UFC 301 event in his native Brazil where he will fight Jonathan Martinez in a bantamweight contest; a fighter currently in the midst of a six-fight win streak at 135-pounds.

News of Aldo’s return was first reported by AG Fight and subsequently confirmed by Aldo on social media.

Aldo’s most recent appearance in the UFC Octagon was an August 2022 defeat to Merab Dvalishvili in a bantamweight title eliminator. Prior to that, the mixed martial arts veteran had scored three successive wins against Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz and Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.

Since then, Aldo has competed in two professional boxing matches — including a draw against fellow UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens and a unanimous decision win last July over Esteban Gabriel Espindola.

Martinez, meanwhile, has scored wins over the likes of Adrian Yanez, Said Nurmagomedov and Cub Swanson in recent bouts.

Aldo’s comeback fight will bolster a UFC 301 pay-per-view card that has been criticised for having a lack of star power. The event is set to be headlined by flyweight champion Alexandre Pantoja defending his 125-pound title against the 12-1 Australian Steve Erceg, who has just three UFC bouts under his belt heading into the fight.