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Jose Aldo Prays Every Night For McGregor Rematch, But There Is Another Fight That Interests Him

Since Conor McGregor’s redemptive welterweight victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202, there have been very few suggestions that the Irishman’s next port of call is the featherweight division or that his next opponent will be old foe Jose Aldo.

Instead, most of the talk has been of a fight between McGregor and lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in November. It’s the showdown that MMAFighting journalist Ariel Helwani has labelled “top choice” for the headline slot at the massive New York show.

However, some comments that the promotion’s president Dana White made in the lead-up to last weekend’s UFC 203 event suggest that there is still a good chance of McGregor defending the featherweight title in his next outing. White certainly didn’t nix a lightweight title fight altogether but his focus seemed to be on the 145-pound weight class.

“I made that fight twice,” said White when asked about the possibility of a trilogy-completing contest between McGregor and Diaz. “That’s it. It’s time to move on because (McGregor) has the 145-pound title.”

“At the end of the day, he’s a 145-pound fighter. He could go to (lightweight), but going back up to 170[lbs] makes absolutely no sense, and it clogs up the entire division, which isn’t fair to the rest of the crew(Transcription via MMAWeekly).”

This will music to the ears of the aforementioned Aldo, who scooped the interim featherweight title with a decision win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 back in July, as the Brazilian has been calling for a rematch with ‘The Notorious’ one ever since his 13-second knockout defeat at UFC 194 last December.

UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor

In an interview with Revista Combate this week, Aldo said that he has been seeking divine assistance in securing a shot at revenge.

“Every night I ask god ‘Please give me another chance. Let me get into the octagon against him. I know it will be different this time,'” Aldo told his interviewers.

But the 30-year-old veteran, who admitted that he finds all the uncertainty about McGregor’s and, ultimately, his own future frustrating, isn’t unwilling to consider other options.

If McGregor vacates the featherweight title, most assume that Aldo will face Max Holloway for the strap. Holloway is undoubtedly the most deserving challenger, having scored nine consecutive wins since an August 2013 decision defeat to McGregor. Aldo has said in the past that he would be happy to face the 24-year-old Hawaiian, but a new addition to the 145-pound landscape is a more appealing option to the increasingly business-savvy ex-champ.

“If [a fight with McGregor] doesn’t end up happening, I do rather a fight against [Anthony]Pettis,” said the South American ‘Scarface’.

“I think nowadays…I learned a few things with [the UFC]. There’s more than just the ranking, like there is a ranking order for title-shots. No. I have to tend to the business side too. I think a fight against Pettis will sell a lot more than one against Holloway.”

On that count, Aldo is probably correct. Hardcore fight fans have been wanting to see him face Pettis for a long time now.

The pair were supposed to meet for Aldo’s featherweight crown at UFC 163 in August of 2013, but Pettis withdrew with a knee injury. Not long after that, ‘Showtime’ defeated Benson Henderson for the lightweight title, making the prospect of a bout with Aldo an even more salivating one. Throughout the period when both men wore UFC gold, talk of a super-fight was rampant. According to Jose’s coach Andre Pederneiras though, the promotion were opposed to the idea of their featherweight king jumping up a division.

However, Pettis lost his title to Rafael dos Anjos last year and subsequently dropped two further bouts in the 155-pound division, inspiring him to make a cut in Aldo’s direction.

Though he didn’t look particularly healthy on the scales a day prior, the 29-year-old made a successful debut at 145lbs, submitting Charles Oliveira at UFC on Fox 21.

Unfortunately, Pettis’ arrival could muddy the waters of yet another division and cost a deserving challenger his title shot.

Holloway caught wind of the interview with Aldo and he took to Twitter in order to express his discontent.

The situation at featherweight is becoming increasingly complex and uncertain, with a champion seemingly determined to hang onto the gold despite ambitions elsewhere, an interim titleholder looking to make the right business decision, a recent superstar addition to the scene and a deserving challenger hoping that he doesn’t get overlooked.

Hopefully things will become clearer over the next few days. But don’t count on it.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.