A New List of Contenders Could Keep Jose Aldo at Featherweight After UFC 129


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UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo

The talk about Jose Aldo eventually moving up to 155 pounds has been discussed ever since the Brazilian started his tear through the featherweight division, where he currently sits as the No. 1 ranked fighter in the world.

During his time with the WEC, Aldo went 8-0 with seven knockouts or TKO’s with six of those never making it out of the second round.

Now the UFC featherweight champion, Aldo will make his first title defense in the Octagon against Mark Hominick, but the chatter about his move to 155 pounds hasn’t gone away.

The talk, however, may soon shift because Aldo could have a new list of contenders, some of which he may have faced at lightweight should he have made the move.

Aldo was offered a fight with Kenny Florian before the WEC merged with the UFC, and now Florian is dropping down to 145 pounds in June. Both Tyson Griffin and Joe Stevenson, once stalwarts of the lightweight division, are dropping down to featherweight as well, to try their hand at a new weight class. And of course it can’t be forgotten that there is an undefeated fighter by the name of Chad Mendes that is lurking and waiting for a title shot as well.

“There’s a lot of guys coming down to the 145-pound weight class, which is great. I think we’re just taking it one step at a time right now,” Aldo’s manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly Radio about his possible move to lightweight.

“Everyone’s focused on him getting through Hominick, let’s get through that and we’ll see what the next challenge will be.”

The influx of talent could provide Aldo with a list of contenders over the next year, but the potential for another teammate vs. teammate situation could weigh on his decision to explore the lightweight waters.

Aldo’s teammate and training partner Diego Nunes is the fighter who will welcome Kenny Florian to the featherweight division come June. If he can defeat the former lightweight title contender, Nunes would immediately catapult his name into the list of featherweight title contenders.

The discussion has come up between Aldo and Nunes, and while they’re not saying much now, it would be a hard decision to make about fighting each other.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Soares said about Aldo and Nunes facing each other.

Nunes is focused on beating Florian, however. He’ll answer questions about fighting his teammate at another time.

“This is the fight of his life,” Soares said about Nunes’ next fight. “I think Kenny Florian’s definitely challenging himself moving down a weight division, and taking on such a tough contender. I think this has everything to be one of those ‘Fight of the Night’ type fights. Because Kenny Florian’s very skilled standing up, very good on the ground, always exciting, always comes to fight.”

If Aldo is successful in defeating Hominick, he will have no shortage of opponents, but it’s just a matter of what weight class he chooses to take on those challenges.

One thing is for sure… Jose Aldo definitely has options and decisions to make if he wins at UFC 129.


Damon Martin is the lead staff writer and radio host for MMAWeekly.com.
Follow
@DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon a question or comment.


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