Slow Down Expectations for Jose Aldo, Jon Jones

Urijah Faber, Jose AldoThe two hottest young fighters in MMA are the 24-year-old WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo and the 23-year-old UFC light heavyweight Jon Jones. UFC President Dana White knows that, but he also wants fans to know that Aldo won't be rushed into fighting as a UFC lightweight until he wants to, and Jones won't be rushed into a light heavyweight title fight before he's ready.

And so if you're hoping to see Aldo in the Octagon or Jones fighting for a belt, don't hold your breath.

White said on The Fight Fix on CSN Washington that Aldo had a chance to move into the UFC lightweight division and fight Kenny Florian, but Aldo chose instead to keep defending his featherweight belt. And he said Jones won't fight for the light heavyweight title for at least a year.

Sounding a little surprised that a fighter would turn down a chance to jump from the WEC to the UFC, White said Aldo declined an offer.

"Jose Aldo's been talking about moving up to 155 pounds," White said. "Well, we had a slot and said, 'All right, you want to move up to 155 pounds?' And he said, 'Uh, never mind.'"

Ultimately, White sounds content to let Aldo fight at whatever weight he's most comfortable fighting at.

"It depends on what this kid wants to do," White said. "If he wants to stay in the WEC and defend that title, that's cool. But they were talking at one point about moving to [155] so we talked to him and said, 'How would you like to move to the UFC's 155 division and take on Kenny, and they turned it down."

As for Jones, White says it's important not to rush one of the best young fighters in the sport into a title fight before he's ready. Instead, White says, he's going to match Jones and Ryan Bader up in a battle of the two best young 205-pounders.

"The fight will happen with Ryan Bader," White said. "Jon Jones is obviously the talk of the industry right now. He's the whole package. He's a good-looking kid, he's smart, he's incredibly talented, he's got the size, he's got the strength."

But when asked whether the Jones-Bader fight is for a title shot, White threw cold water on that idea.

"People drive me crazy," White said. "They're always like, 'Jon Jones is great, let's get him in there with Shogun Rua! Get him in there now! He's ready!' Listen, this guy's a young kid. Yes, this kid is dominant. Yes this kid has done amazing things. In the fight business, you work your way up the ranks. He just broke into the top 10, he's going to take on Ryan Bader, who just beat Nogueira. If he gets through that fight he's going to fight nothing but the Top 5. Jon Jones is probably a year away from a title shot."

So if you're dying to see Aldo in the UFC or Jones fighting for the title, be patient. It's not going to happen just yet.

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