Don’t tell other fighters that winning is the only way to get a UFC title shot because if you’re as popular as UFC legend Jose Aldo, apparently, that’s all that matters.
Aldo (28-6) is coming off two straight losses. The former featherweight champ suffered decision setbacks to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237 and Marlon Moraes at UFC 245, but now the Brazilian appears to be on his way to facing Petr Yan for the vacant UFC bantamweight title this summer.
UFC president Dana White revealed that stunning plan to ESPN on Wednesday during an appearance on “SportsCenter”. White said the date for Aldo vs. Yan was not yet set, but that the company would be trying to put together Aldo vs. Yan to fill the vacancy left by Henry Cejudo’s abrupt retirement after UFC 249.
While Aldo is a popular fighter, that move is sure to ruffle the feathers of many. After all, if the UFC championship is supposed to be the highest honor in MMA around the world, how can it make sense that Aldo would leapfrog all the other worthy candidates?
Aldo’s enjoyed a fantastic career, but he’s gone 5-5 over his last 10 fights.
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Aldo’s Recent Run Suggest Others More Deserving
While Yan is undefeated across six UFC fights and possesses a sterling 13-1 overall record, Aldo’s recent run suggests there might be better candidates to fight for the vacant title.
Sure, Aldo was one of the best featherweight UFC fighters ever, but the 33-year-old from Brazil is just 2-4 over his last six fights.
Additionally, Aldo is 0-1 in the bantamweight division, only ranked the No. 6 contender at the weight and hasn’t even won a fight in over a year.
That Aldo would jump up past higher-ranked bantamweight contenders such as Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling makes little sense, and the incredible decision makes even less sense when you consider Moraes just defeated Aldo in December 2019.
Aldo vs. Yan on UFC Fight Island?
According to MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin, Aldo vs. Yan could land on UFC’s Fight Island in July. Martin revealed via social media he was hearing those rumors but that the fight was not yet signed and that it was far from a sure thing.
Regardless, that the fight was revealed by White at all Wednesday suggests it’s on its way to becoming a reality.
The UFC working towards Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title per Dana White via @marc_raimondi
Heard rumors about this landing on Fight Island in July but certainly not a done deal by any means. I wouldn't expect a long wait for this fight though.
— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) May 27, 2020
Moreover, Martin also suggested the matchup doesn’t make much sense in comparison to other fights the UFC could have made to fill the vacancy.
“Obviously Jose Aldo getting a title shot now doesn’t make much sense, especially when you’ve got Marlon Moraes, Cory Sandhagen and Aljamain Sterling waiting in the wings,” Martin said. “Moraes really gets the worst of this considering he beat Aldo.”
MMA Fighting’s Steven Marrocco later reported, “A person with knowledge of the possible booking said the promotion is considering it for UFC 251, which is expected to take place July 11 in Las Vegas.”
So Aldo might be on a two-fight losing streak and have five other contenders ranked higher than him in the bantamweight division per the UFC’s official rankings, but it appears he’s on his way to getting a title shot anyway.
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