José Aldo has left the MMA world shocked to a certain extent after revealing his wish to eventually make the drop to the bantamweight division.
Aldo is, of course, at something of a crossroads in his career following his decision loss to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237.
With an 0-2 record against the champ, it was thought that he would retire from the sport this year after a trio of fights in his home-country of Brazil. José’s glittering run atop the featherweight division saw him rule both the WEC and UFC incarnations of the 145lb weight-class for close to a combined decade.
Now, for the first time, according to the man himself, a move to Henry Cejudo’s 135lb division could be on the cards – one that José himself hopes will eventually result in a shot at the divisional champ.
Speaking in a recent interview with Combate, the former featherweight champion spoke about a move that would potentially see him follow in the footsteps of his old rival Frankie Edgar and drop the extra 10lbs.
At the moment, we’ve been thinking about what is the best chance to fight for a belt again. I sat down with everybody, I studied, and I think there’s a real possibility of me making 135. I’ll try to move to this new weight class, and I’m asking for a title shot right off the bat. It’ what matters to me now.
“Cejudo said he was open to fight anyone, so I’m open to this, I want a chance to fight and beat him. Then I’ll think about moving up again, to 145 or maybe 155. Since he’s open, I’ll accept the challenge. And I hope that, in the near future, we can make this fight happen.”
“I, particularly, think that 145 is too stale for me. A third fight against Max is hard to happen. The division is renewing itself, so of course they won’t put anybody to fight me, because I can hinder those plans. It’s much easier for me to go down. I never worked with a nutritionist before, to lose weight in the long term.
“I always did it one week before the fight, but it was quick. Now, we’ve talked and saw a real possibility of hitting the mark. So there’s nothing more fair than to fight the 135 champion.”
Aldo, who at many points in his career has been considered a large featherweight, had been pegged with a potential jump to 155lbs now that a matchup with the sitting champion Max Holloway has grown unlikely.
It’s hard to know exactly how much weight there is to José’s comments, but with his name now attached to a huge multi-deal contract with the UFC, who knows, perhaps the former champion will make good on his promise and leave the division he ruled for so long behind him.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena