Interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo has backed off talk of retiring and instead now wants a title fight early in 2017.
That’s the word according to his long-time manager Andre Pederneiras, who told the Combate site in Brazil that Aldo won’t fight unless it’s for the belt.
“Aldo wants to do the other things, but in the conversations we had with [the UFC], it became clear that they’re not going to let him do that,” Pederneiras said. “There’s nothing we can do. We have to fight.
“If he goes back to fight, he will only fight to unify the title, independent of who it’s against. Aldo will accept no other fight unless it’s to unify the title.”
Much now will hinge on the result of the upcoming UFC 205 headlining clash between current featherweight champion Conor McGregor and lightweight kingpin Eddie Alvarez.
Both the UFC and McGregor have indicated that if he won he’d give up one of the two titles, and all signs point to it being the 145lb belt that he’d relinquish, given his difficulties making weight in that division.
On the other hand, if Alvarez wins then McGregor would then have to go back down and rematch Aldo for the 145lb title next.
If the first scenario plays out then things could run fairly smoothly, but given that McGregor demanded an immediate rematch after losing to Nate Diaz earlier this year, it’d be interesting to see whether he would willingly retreat back to 145lbs if he suffered defeat against Alvarez, or if it would lead to another uncomfortable stand-off that would cause more unrest.