Former UFC featherweight champion and all-time great Jose Aldo will try to capture his first two-fight win streak since 2014 when he squares off with streaking contender Renato Moicano later tonight (Sat., Feb. 2, 2019) at UFC on ESPN+ 2 in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Aldo, who hasn’t quite been the same fighter since getting uprooted by Conor McGregor in 13 seconds to lose his title, is coming off a huge first-round TKO win over veteran Jeremy Stephens this past July. It was the Brazilian’s first finish since ending “Korean Zombie” back in 2013.
While Aldo has prepared to defeat Moicano this evening at UFC Fortaleza and start 2019 off with his first win streak in just over four years, the 32-year-old legend is already thinking about his next trip to the Octagon. Speaking with reporters earlier this week at UFC Fortaleza’s media day, Aldo revealed that he nearly signed on the dotted line to fight Donald Cerrone, but has since turned his attention for former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
“This fight was very close (to happening),” Aldo said of Cerrone (via MMA Fighting). “They offered it to us and I was really happy because we’re both aggressive fighters and it would be a big fight, but the discussion has taken another path now, he’s trying to fight Conor (McGregor) and I don’t see how this fight happens now.”
“But (Anthony) Pettis would be an excellent opponent,” he continued. “We were close to fighting twice before and didn’t happen. Having this fight in May, at lightweight, would be even better.”
Aldo has been long rumored to make a jump up to lightweight so this would be his chance to do so. Win or lose at UFC Fortaleza, Aldo’s track record and capabilities inside of the cage should help him secure an awaited showdown with “Showtime.”
Luckily for Aldo, Pettis wasted little time accepting the 155-pound challenge and posted the following message to his Instagram:
“I accept! I love Brazil gonna be a fun year!” wrote Pettis.
Of course, Pettis first has to worry about a welterweight matchup with former title challenger Stephen Thompson at UFC on ESPN+ 6 this March. It will be Pettis’ first trip to 170 pounds in his storied career and an opportunity to prove he can stand and bang with one of the best strikers in MMA today.
Should Aldo and Pettis both escape their next fights relatively injury free a lightweight clash this May would make complete sense, especially since neither former champion holds considerable title value in their respective divisions. A potential landing spot for Aldo vs. Pettis would be UFC 237, which is currently scheduled to go down on May 11 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from Curitiba, Brazil.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 144 fight card, starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.