This weekend, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will look to unify the UFC featherweight championship and the interim featherweight championship, which is currently being held by Max Holloway.
While Aldo has continuously sought a rematch with Conor McGregor following his lopsided loss to the Irish superstar at UFC 194, the featherweight champion was recently told by UFC President Dana White that Conor McGregor has no desire to give Aldo a rematch.
Despite that, it appears as though Aldo has a plan to not only fight at 145 pounds after UFC 212 this weekend, but also at lightweight.
He spoke to MMAJunkie:
“I want to test myself in new divisions. I want to test myself against new challenges, new athletes, do super fights. The UFC is opening up that side now. Before, I’d tried to move up to lightweight and couldn’t. It didn’t work out. But not now.”
“I just negotiated two fights. The opponents (lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov) didn’t take them, but I know it’s a lot closer. I have to keep that going. I have to stay motivated. I have to win the fight, and this way I know I can make these challenges.”
Aldo explained that he doesn’t want to cut the line and put the lightweight division on hold, he simply wants to be more active:
“I want to do super fights. I don’t necessarily want to challenge the champion. I want to do fights that allow me to stay active. A champion needs big opponents, bigger promotion processes – and that gets in the way of a champion who wants to fight more times in an year.
“With super fights, I can do them and then fight in my division right after that. This is what I have in mind – fighting more often. I think the fans want to see Jose Aldo in action in the octagon more often. I want to do super fights, get new challenges, maybe challenge a lightweight, or for the title, but go back to my division and defend that too. I don’t want to get a belt and stop fighting. This is what I love doing. This is what I chose for myself, this is why I wake up early every day and go to the gym to give it my all at training. That’s why.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/1/2017.