If you had turned the page on the title shot chapter of Jose Aldo’s career, well, today, you might be rethinking that decision.
As you certainly know by now, Aldo took out Jeremy Stephens last night at UFC on FOX 30. In wasn’t a flawless performance by the former featherweight champ, as Stephens tagged him with some big punches. But, Aldo weathered the storm, returned fire, and sent Stephens to the deck with a wince inducing, body shot. The win ended a two fight, losing skid Aldo was on, courtesy back-to-back losses to current champ, Max Holloway.
Well, after last night’s crucial victory, Aldo spoke with the media, and here’s some of what he had to say about the victory, and his hopes for the future (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I am a top fighter in this division, and I’m ready to get another title shot eventually in this run.”
“A lot of people were looking at me and thinking, ‘Where is he now? Is he the same fighter that he was before?’ But I had my group behind me,” Aldo said. “I was able to keep calm and do the work.”
“It was a lot of work during camp, and I think it’s time to relax a little bit … and focus on something later in the year.”
Now, yes, as long as Holloway holds the 145 title, the chances of Aldo challenging for the belt again are slim and none. At least within the coming year or so, and Aldo has said he plans to retire after completing his current UFC deal (which has three fights left on it).
But, if Holloway moves to 155, or loses the belt say to Brian Ortega, then Aldo could work his way back into a title fight. Since he’s the greatest featherweight of all time, and with this key win over Stephens, another victory over a top contender could deliver a title shot (provided Holloway’s not the champ).
Aldo was also asked about whether he’d be interested in fighting at the December 8th, UFC 231 card in Toronto, and the Brazilian star said yes. Toronto was the host city for Aldo’s first UFC bout way back in 2011, when he defeated Mark Hominick.