The UFC announced Saturday that "The Notorious" has "relinquished" his 145-pound belt, and the promotion decided to create an interim title for Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis at UFC 206. The winner of that bout on Dec. 10 will likely face Aldo next to unify the featherweight championship.
"I was always the champion and will always be as long as I’m in the featherweight division," Aldo said in an interview to Brazilian TV show Planeta SporTV. "No matter what happens, I will always be the champion. I had no doubt about it. The moment I lost, I knew the belt would be mine. It was a matter of time. It’s not the way I wanted, but I’m happy because I know I’m the champion."
Even though he says it’s not the way he wanted to get his belt back, Aldo doesn’t seem surprised that McGregor let one of the UFC titles go.
"That was a fact I knew would happen, that he would drop a belt, my belt or the lightweight," he said. "It’s a tough fight for him at lightweight, with Khabib (Nurmagomedov), or a rematch with me, so he preferred to drop mine (belt). No problem."
In a separate interview with the UFC website in Brazil, Aldo called McGregor a "pu--y" for never defending the featherweight title he won last December.
"I knew that would happen," said Aldo, who lost to McGregor in 13 seconds at UFC 194. "To me, I never stopped being champion. I lost that fight because of an accident. I knew that I would win a rematch, that I would be champion again. It’s not my fault that he’s such a pu--y he was never the champion. I don’t see myself losing to anyone in this division or any other (division)."
With Pettis vs. Holloway booked for Dec. 10 in Toronto, Aldo hopes to be back in action in February or March to defend the featherweight title. And after that, Aldo wants to move up to 155 pounds and get his rematch against the only man to ever beat him inside the Octagon.
"First, I want to defend my title, and then go after a fight with him (at lightweight)," Aldo said. "Just like Dana (White) said, we can choose who we want to fight, so I want to fight him. That’s what will happen."
Aldo has no preference between Pettis and Holloway, but calls the former UFC and WEC lightweight champion a bigger fight.
"I don’t see any problem. I’ll be prepared for whoever wins," Aldo said. "Pettis has a bigger name, or course, was a champion before, so it would be a bigger fight. But if it’s the other one, no problem, I’ll win no matter what."