Jose Aldo hasn’t had a two fight campaign since 2014, but it sounds like the former featherweight champ plans to change that this year.
Aldo is coming off a stoppage loss to Max Holloway in June, which ended his second, brief reign as the 145 champ. In 2016, the Brazilian star fought just once, as last July Aldo earned a decision win over Frankie Edgar. Prior to that, Aldo was KO’d by Conor McGregor in December, 2015, which ended Aldo’s storied reign as the featherweight king. That bout was the only time Aldo competed that year.
“I asked to fight again until November, tops, because in the past few years I’ve gone a long time without fighting and I think that hindered me a lot,” Aldo said. “But we’re already talking to them so that we can return until November. I think we will go by the rankings.”
As far as an opponent, Aldo mentioned Cub Swanson as a possibility, who is currently ranked #4. Aldo is sitting in the #1 spot. When Aldo competes again, it will mark the first time since 2009 that he would be doing so without a title on the line. Interestingly enough, that bout saw Aldo quickly take out Swanson at WEC 41.
“I think it does take some of the weight – we can go in there and take risks, as usual,” Aldo said, while discussing whether he’d feel less pressure, since not belt will be on the line. “I’ve always respected every athlete, but now we get to be the ‘snipers’ (term used in soccer to refer to the team that has fewer expectations of winning and, therefore, less pressure) again. We get to do great, exciting fights, which I think is what the fans expect from me.”
It will be interesting to see if the UFC goes in this direction. Aldo holds wins over all of the top five ranked contenders at 145.