Jose Aldo lost his UFC featherweight title last Saturday, but continues to be an idol in Brazil.
The former 145-pound champion, who suffered his first defeat in 10 years at UFC 194 with a 13-second knockout loss to Conor McGregor, returned to Brazil on Thursday morning, and was welcomed by dozens of fans and teammates at the airport in Rio de Janeiro.
"Still the people's champion," Nova Uniao posted on its official Instagram account. "That wasn't a defeat. Dana White, rematch right away."
"Today, fans from all over Brazil and Team Nova Uniao came to receive our champion of the people at the airport," read a second post. "And with the same sympathy whenever he received the affection, took pictures and gave interviews. Jose Aldo, congratulations, we know everything and will return with a comeback, bringing our Brazil again his belt! Dana White, rematch right away!!!"
Speaking to Combate at the airport, Aldo said he wasn’t sure about what’s next for him.
"What I’ve done in 10 years won’t be erased in 13 seconds," Aldo said. "We win, lose, but learn in the defeat. We will be champion again soon. The next fight can be a rematch, so let’s stay focused.
"I don’t know if it’s an immediate rematch or not. We’re talking. Conor wants to move up, he can’t make the weight anymore. Maybe he fights (at lightweight). The next fight can be a title fight with Frankie Edgar."
According to McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh, the new UFC featherweight champion is considering fighting the winner of Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone for the lightweight title around March or April, and then return to 145 pounds to face Edgar at July 9’s UFC 200.