Jose Aldo has gone from the UFC Interim Featherweight Champion to the UFC Featherweight Champion after then champion Conor McGregor was stripped of the gold -- something that Aldo says he knew would happen since the beginning.
“It was a fact that this was going to happen. We knew (McGregor) was going to relinquish the belt – obviously, either mine or the lightweight one. I think both are very tough fights for him, either at lightweight with Khabib (Nurmagomedov) or a rematch with me. So he chose to let go of mine. It’s no problem. Of course, first I want to do a (title) defense and then, yes, I will want to pursue a fight with (McGregor),” Aldo said to Planeta.
Although Aldo hadn’t held the UFC Featherweight Title for nearly a year, he says that he has always been the champion in his own mind.
“I think I’ve always been the champion, and I will always be the champion,” he said. “As long as I’m at featherweight, no matter what happens, I’ll keep being the champion. So this, for me, was something that was already certain. The minute I lost, I knew, the next day, the belt would be mine again. It was just a matter of time. Of course, (it was) not the way I wanted, but I’m happy because I know I’m the champion.”
“I said that if one day I left the UFC, (because) I wanted to try other sports, I said if I returned to MMA I wanted it to be to the UFC, because I’m the best in the world and the best in the world is the UFC,” Aldo said. “So I had to be there, always motivated. That’s my life. There’s no way I can escape and want something else, so I’m very motivated. I have a few fights left on my contract, but I also want to test myself in other things because I think I can also do well (in them). I’d been training, even with everything that’s been happening. I’ve been training and helping out my friends here (at Nova Uniao). And now we’re already making the arrangements to fight in the future. I think maybe in February or March we’ll be fighting hopefully. I don’t want to wait too long because it’s been a while since my last fight. I don’t want to go too long without fighting.”
Aldo will be meeting the winner of the UFC Interim Featherweight Title bout between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway, which takes place at UFC 206 this December.