NEW YORK – With Jose Aldo defending his featherweight belt on Saturday for the sixth time against Ricardo Lamas, people have been wondering if the long tenured champion is destined to move up to 155 pounds for a new slate of challenges, an idea he’s flirted with in the past.
Count UFC president Dana White among those who thinks it’s a good idea, so long as Aldo himself is ready to move on.
"Here you go – [here’s the] green light," White said when asked if he’d grant Aldo permission to switch weight classes.
Last week in Chicago the lightweight division’s No. 1 contender Josh Thompson’s lost to Benson Henderson, thus leaving no clear cut contender to face current champion Anthony Pettis when he comes back from his knee injury. When asked if that circumstance might open the door for Aldo -- who hasn’t lost since 2005 and is undefeated under the Zuffa banner in both the UFC and WEC -- White said "definitely."
And he would be fine with Aldo vacating the 145-pound belt.
"I think if [Aldo makes] the move to 155 he should do it, and drop the belt," White said. "And if he doesn’t like being at 155 he could drop back down and fight for the title again.
"This is crazy but…[Renan] Barao is unbeaten in almost nine years now," White said. "Eight years, nine months. [Aldo]’s eight years too. He’s gone undefeated for almost eight years. He’s had the belt forever, he’d fought everybody and he should just drop the belt and move up to 55 and take on Pettis. It would be awesome."
So what does Aldo think? Does he envision fighting as a lightweight in 2014?
"There’s a lot of people thinking about that, and talking about [me moving to lightweight]," Aldo said. "Of course I have to beat [Ricardo] Lamas first, and after I beat Lamas I will see what happens. But probably yes."