Jose Aldo’s big win over Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 30 seems to have reignited a fire in the Brazilian, as the fan favorite earned his first TKO win in over four years, dropping ‘Lil Heathen’ with a beautifully placed body shot and finishing him with follow-up punches in the second round.
Aldo seemed rather defeated after suffering back-to-back losses to Max Holloway, talking frequently about hanging up the gloves and ending his UFC contract as soon as possible.
But, after his emotional victory over Stephens, the 31-year-old wants to end his career on a high note, preferably with the featherweight title back in his possession and at least one ‘big’ win at lightweight.
Aldo recently spoke with the Brazilian media and revealed his plans for the future.
“The plan remains the same because I want to become champion,” Aldo said, per MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz. “I want to stop as champion. We’re close, we never stopped being close, so this fight showed that my qualities and potential still are up there. I want to fight for the belt. If I get the title, I’ll stop with the title.”
I do,” he said when asked about wanting to move up a division. “Dede has already speculated that for me. If there’s an opportunity, I want it. Not because of the weight cut, but to do a big fight. I think that’s what’s missing in my career, testing myself a little bit against other athletes from other divisions. It would be great. But I’m waiting for a definition in the division so we can make this decision in the future.”
Aldo will likely be keeping a close eye on the winner of the upcoming lightweight title bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, who are expected to face off on Oct. 6 at UFC 229. If McGregor wins, there could be some interest in seeing a rematch with Aldo. ‘The Notorious’ put an end to Aldo’s title run with a stunning thirteen second KO at UFC 194, but many fans felt Aldo was deserving of a rematch due to his legacy and esteemed reputation in the sport.
Aldo could also go on to face Brian Ortega for the featherweight title, depending on the severity of Holloway’s mysterious health condition which forced him to withdraw from UFC 226.
“We’re waiting to see what can happen. First of all, I hope for Max Holloway’s recovery, that he can come back to fighting. But him being out, there’s no other way unless doing this fight straight for the belt and both of us, Brian and I, are at the top. But, man, it’s hard to speculate here, let’s see what happens. First, we have to have Max’s answer to know about the near future and what decisions we have to make.”