It appears Max Holloway’s amusing post-fight antics of calling Jose Aldo ‘Jose Waldo’ were unnecessary as, according to the Brazilian, he had already agreed to fight the winner of that match-up at UFC 208. The event to take place in Brooklyn on February 11.
The featherweight champion sounded none too pleased with the Hawaiian’s post-fight jibes either, when quoted by media in Brazil (via MMA Fighting):
“He’s saying ‘where’s Aldo?’, you have to talk to the UFC. About the fight in February, I already knew that, I only didn’t know who I would fight.
“It was between him and Pettis, whoever won the fight. It’s not something new. This fight will happen on Feb. 11.”
While Holloway has been extremely active over the past few years, notching up ten wins in a row, Aldo has largely been hard to gauge as he has fought just twice since November 2014. And one of those contests was of course the 13-second knockout that he suffered at the hands of Conor McGregor.
He did, however, look very accomplished at UFC 200 last July in a unanimous points decision over Frankie Edgar. Indeed, many consider his very technical performance, where he stuffed every attempt by Edgar to bring him to the ground, as the highpoint of what was overall an underwhelming event.
That victory earned him an interim belt, which has since been controversially upgraded to the undisputed version after McGregor’s continued weight jumping finally caught up to him. He was stripped of the crown just over two weeks ago.
While the featherweight belt does feel a bit cheapened by McGregor’s apparent happiness to discard it in order to avenge losses (Nate Diaz) as well as the fact that the undisputed champion did not have to defeat the Dubliner in order to reclaim it, this fight should be a barnburner.
Holloway has size, youth and momentum on his side but Aldo is considered one of the all-time greats for a reason. He will, in all likelihood, enter this contest as a slight favourite.
But anyone who witnessed Holloway finish Anthony Pettis, who had famously never previously been finished, knows that the Hawaiian is certainly capable of dethroning Aldo for the second time in just over a year.
Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena