Jose Aldo has been clear about his desire to return to the octagon in 2017. Thanks to a familiar foe, it seems he’ll be able to get his wish.
Brazil’s Combate.com says the ground has been prepared for a rematch between former 145-pound champion Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and contender Ricardo Lamas (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) – who unsuccessfully challenged for the then-champ’s belt at UFC 169 in 2013. According to the report, both men have said yes to a meeting in December, but have yet to set a specific date.
Aldo’s original plan was to fight at UFC 217, which takes place in New York City on Nov. 4. But, also according to the report, the promotion opted for the following month after Lamas asked for more time. This would entail one of two likelihoods: UFC 218, which takes place in Detroit on Dec. 2, or UFC 219, set for Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.
While this means Aldo won’t get to fulfill his dream of fighting in Madison Square Garden, it’s still in line with his general return plans after a UFC 212 loss that saw him surrender the featherweight crown to Max Holloway.
The outlet, which spoke to the former champion Sunday during a non-related event in Rio de Janeiro, said the featherweight champ wouldn’t commit to a name – but did say he had a fight ready to go.
“It’s not 100 percent because we haven’t signed the contract yet,” Aldo said. “(But) it’s certain and I’m waiting for the day to fight.”
Although the first name linked to Aldo’s return wasn’t Lamas’, and rather that of fellow former foe Cub Swanson, this isn’t the first we’re hearing of this matchup either. Earlier this month, Aldo’s head coach and manager Andre Pederneiras addressed fresh rumors of the Lamas rematch with MMAjunkie.
According to Pederneiras, Lamas’ name had been brought up by the UFC after Swanson and his wife had a baby. But, by then, Pederneiras had yet to get a confirmation from them on Lamas’ end. Then alerted to a Tweet by a reporter who said Lamas had shut down the rumors, Pederneiras answered.
“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.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.