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Jose Aldo wants Anthony Pettis next if Conor McGregor doesn’t return to featherweight

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Alexandre Loureiro, Inovafoto

Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis can finally happen in 2016.

"Showtime" Pettis was scheduled to face Aldo for the 145-pound gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, but pulled out due to a knee injury. He gave up on the idea of going down to featherweight for years, but finally did it at August’s UFC on FOX 21, when he beat Charles Oliveira.

Aldo, who claimed the interim UFC featherweight title with a decision win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, hopes to get his rematch against Conor McGregor for the undisputed championship next, but sees other options if "The Notorious" doesn’t return to his original weight class.

"I’m already frustrated that it might happen, but we’ll see," Aldo recently told Brazilian TV show Revista Combate. "Every night I ask ‘give me one more chance to get in there again with him and I know it won’t happen again.’ but if it’s not him, I think I’d prefer to fight Pettis. I with them learned that I don’t have to look at the promotion’s side, the title run. A fight with Pettis would sell a lot more than Holloway."

Max Holloway has won nine in a row since losing a decision to McGregor in 2013, and Aldo admits that he’s a tougher match-up.

"Holloway is way tougher than Pettis today," Aldo said. "‘Do Bronx’ (Oliveira) was winning the fight, but (his cardio) goes down drastically during the fight. I think that a fight with Pettis would sell a lot and is way easier for me. If I had to choose one of them it would be him because it sells more and I have a better chance, but I respect him."

Aldo reiterated that fighting Holloway would make sense ranking-wise, but he’s more interested in "money fights" now. Targeting to return to action by the end of the year, Aldo hopes to be part at the UFC 205 pay-per-view card in New York, scheduled for Nov. 12.

"It makes sense, but I’m not looking at the whole title thing now," Aldo said of fighting Holloway in New York. "I look at the financial aspect of it. I thought about my legacy and career before, but now I look with different eyes. I think Dana White taught me that. The biggest slice of the cake has to be mine.

"I’m trying to get a fight at this UFC card in New York, but we’ll see what ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) has to say when he comes back. ‘Dede’ is (in Cleveland) now for a meeting with Dana to decide our future. I hope everything goes right. If it’s not against (McGregor) we fight for the undisputed belt. We’ll see."