UFC Legend Makes Savage Case to Receive Next Title Fight

Jose Aldo

Getty Jose Aldo

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has made it clear he wants the next crack at Aljamain Sterling’s 135-pound belt.

“Junior” (31-7) is currently on a three-fight win streak, which includes unanimous decision victories over Rob Font, Pedro Munhoz and Marlon Vera. Aldo is the No. 3-ranked bantamweight in the world, as per the official UFC rankings, and the Brazilian took to Twitter to challenge the champion to sign on and fight him.

“Aljamain, I am waiting for you to sign the contract for our fight,” Aldo tweeted. “There is no doubt that the fans want to watch this fight. We are currently the 2 best bantamweights in the UFC.”

Aldo then took aim at TJ Dillashaw, who is currently No. 2 in the division. The former bantamweight champion returned from a two-year ban in July 2021 and defeated Cory Sandhagen by split decision. Dillashaw served the suspension after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug EPO.

“Let the rest of the boys fighting each other and exchanging insults on the internet,” Aldo continued. “In my opinion it does not make any sense to let a guy who got suspended for 2 years for cheating to come back and fight for the belt after winning a split decision in a fight I think he lost.”

Aldo then turned his attention to former 135-pound king Henry Cejudo, who recently announced his comeback. Junior ripped “Triple C” for “faking his retirement,” while pointing to Cejudo not partaking in random drug testing for the past two years.

“The other one is a clown who faked his retirement just to try to raise his purse – as that did not work now he wants to fight for the title after spending 2 years out of the game (and out of the USADA’s pool),” Aldo tweeted.

Sterling Showed Interest Aldo Fight, Said There’s ‘Lots of Money to Be Made’

Sterling is coming off his first title defense: a split decision win over Petr Yan at UFC 273 on April 9. After the fight, the “Funk Master” called out Dillashaw. But, a week later Sterling said on “The MMA Hour” that Aldo was the “most deserving” of a title fight.

The bantamweight champion took notice of Aldo’s tweets. “@ me bro!” Sterling tweeted about Junior not tagging him in the Twitter thread.

Then, tagging UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby, and also calling on the promotion’s chief business officer Hunter Campbell, Sterling tweeted: “@danawhite @seanshelby Hunter, when is our next War room meeting? Lots of money to be made!”

Sterling also seemingly enjoyed Aldo’s barb aimed at Cejudo. Along with three laughing emojis, the Funk Master tweeted: “Nipple CCC.”

Sterling Thinks Aldo’s Title Fight Claim Is Stronger Than Dillashaw’s

During his appearance on “The MMA Hour,” Sterling explained that he doesn’t think Dillashaw deserves a shot at gold next. The Funk Master said he got wrapped up in a narrative that saw Dillashaw as the next contender, but now he’s reversing course.

“When I thought about it afterward, I was like, he really doesn’t deserve it,” Sterling said via MMA Fighting. “He really didn’t earn it. Maybe it’s just because I heard the narrative so much, that he was gonna be getting the winner of myself and Yan when we were supposed to fight in Abu Dhabi. … So maybe I just got wrapped up in that.

“Honestly, if I think there’s anyone more deserving, it would probably be [Jose] Aldo after beating Rob Font, if we’re doing the merit system. That would be the most rational in terms of merit, like what have you done for me lately.

“Even Dominick Cruz – these guys all got big names. T.J., I don’t know how he got in the mix, but somehow I just felt like he was the next guy, so I just threw it out there. I wasn’t even really thinking about it, to be honest.”

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