Former UFC champion and avid sports fan Jose Aldo has always dreamed of fighting in Madison Square Garden. With UFC 217 looming, that dream could very well come true in Nov. 4.
All he needs is a dance partner for the New York City event. And that’s when it gets muddy.
Before losing the belt to Max Holloway at UFC 212, Aldo had already expressed the desire to stay active. With that unchanged by the loss, the first name that was thrown around was Cub Swanson’s (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), whom Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) had met (and made quick work of) before – under the now-defunct WEC banner.
Swanson, whose only reply to the idea was a low-key jab, became a father shortly after. Then, another rematch started being rumored – this time with Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC), who’d unsuccessfully challenged for Aldo’s belt at UFC 169.
So, where exactly do things stand right now? Head coach and manager Andre Pederneiras explained.
“When we started negotiating way back, it was Cub Swanson,” Pederneiras told MMAjunkie on Friday. “But then he got pregnant. So he wouldn’t be ready for November, (which was) the date we wanted. November or December.
“So when I met someone else, they mentioned Ricardo Lamas’ name. They haven’t confirmed it yet. I think – I think that Lamas didn’t confirm it.”
When alerted to the fact a reporter had already spoken to Lamas, who dismissed the matchup rumors, Pederneiras replied.
“I figured as much,” Pederneiras said. “Because I’m trying to follow up, and they’re not saying anything back. But Aldo wants to fight. And the last thing he heard from my mouth was that it could be Ricardo Lamas and it could be either Nov. 4 or December. So we’re waiting.”
Aldo, who’d talked to reporters earlier that day, didn’t go into specifics of matchup negotiations; instead, he said he was expecting to hear good news from Pederneiras. He was quite clear on one thing, though: He wants to return soon. Hopefully, in New York City.
“It’s a dream of mine to fight there, especially at Madison Square Garden,” Aldo said. “I grew up watching boxers fight there. So, for me to fight at that venue, it’s historic, so I do want to be (at UFC 217).”
As for whom he’d like to meet on Nov. 4, Aldo doesn’t have a personal preference. He wants a fight – whether that means facing 145-pound contenders like Lamas or Swanson, or even accepting longtime lightweight Michael Johnson’s (17-12 MMA, 9-8 UFC) recent invitation to be his first featherweight challenge.
“I think (a matchup with Johnson) is great,” Aldo said. “I see no problem with that. First, you have to talk to (Pederneiras). He’s the one who handles this. The more people saying my name, the better. That’s what keeps me up there. I see no problem.”
So if both Aldo and Johnson are down, it should be simple, right? Let’s just say that, after a learning experience with lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, Pederneiras is skeptical as to how this one is going to pan out.
“Everyone talks,” Pederneiras said. “(But) when it’s go time, everyone stays behind the curtains. These guys, what they say in front of the cameras, they don’t say behind it – and these are words by the matchmakers.”
Before the loss to Holloway, Aldo had repeatedly expressed another desire: trying his hand at the 155-pound division. That, it turns out, is not yet out of the picture. But it seems the former champion has some unfinished business to tend to first.
“We have this idea of moving up,” Pederneiras said. “But Aldo wants to try the title for a third time. (He wants to) fight for the belt again. We think there’s a good chance. Because in my head, Frankie Edgar is going to beat Holloway. Because their games don’t go together. And then (Aldo) would have a third stab at the belt. He can win the title and then move up.”view original article >>
Andrei Arlovski’s career has stretched decades, but during his most recent fight, he heard something he hadn’t in a long time: his cornerman. read news >>
Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold keep dancing around the possibility of a trilogy fight. Is it going to happen? read news >>
Former UFC champ Jose Aldo and Jeremy Stephens both have expressed interest in meeting. read news >>
Is it only fitting that arguably the sport’s greatest 170-pounder fighter – Georges St-Pierre – remains in the weight class? read news >>
Jose Aldo wanted Rio de Janeiro. Jeremy Stephens wanted Chicago. But the UFC featherweights seem to be headed toward Singapore in June. read news >>
The social media back-and-forth between a pair of ex-middleweight champs continues, but is it a build toward a trilogy fight booking? read news >>
Former UFC fighter Tiki Ghosn on what it’s like to manage Quinton Jackson, who’s not got the best track record with managers. read news >>
Former Bellator titleholder Alexander Volkov remained unbeaten inside the octagon by finishing former UFC champ Fabricio Werdum in the UFC London main event. read news >>
Heavyweight contender and former title challenger Francis Ngannou is back in the gym training and eyeing a summer return to the octagon. read news >>
UFC women’s flyweight champion Nicco Montano is still rehabilitating her broken foot, but is eyeing a summer date with Valentina Shevchenko. read news >>
Following her successful UFC 222 title defense at UFC 222 this month, Cris Cyborg gave back to the community. read news >>
Floyd "Money" Mayweather jumping into MMA would, naturally, be huge money for everyone involved. Even with a transition still in a hypothetical stage, people across the sport are looking to get a sli read news >>
UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley recently discussed on his TMZ segment Hollywood Beatdown (h/t Bloody Elbow's Milan Ordonez) how he's going to act as something of an MMA coach for Floyd Maywea read news >>
UFC champ Amanda Nunes didn’t get her wish to fight fellow champ Cris Cyborg, but she hasn’t given up just yet on the idea. read news >>
Think former UFC champ Jon Jones might get arrested again this year? Well, now you can wager on whether or not he will, amongst other things. read news >>
UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn made a surprise appearance at UFC 222 open workouts as a guest grappling partner, though he’s not ruling out a return to the cage. read news >>