RIO DE JANEIRO — Jose Aldo is already planning his next move in the UFC, and he could be matched up against a former foe.
The former UFC and WEC featherweight kingpin lost his belt to Max Holloway back in June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and told MMA Fighting that a rematch with Cub Swanson could be his next move in the division. In fact, the Brazilian believes that a potential rematch with Swanson could determine the next in line for the belt.
"Yes, Cub is an option,” Aldo said in his new burger joint, Famous Burger. "I think the ranking continues the same, there’s nowhere to run. Cub is well ranked, especially to be a challenge for me. Frankie (Edgar) will probably fight Max, so we can fight and a new contender will emerge."
Aldo is not focused on what a win could mean for him in terms of fighting for the belt, though.
"First of all, I still don’t think about fighting for the belt or not,” he said. "I think it has restarted for me. It’s in the past. It’s like if I was entering the division again. I want to come back to fighting, come back to winning, and then we can sit down and talk to see where I am."
“Scarface" started his run as best 145-pound fighter on the planet in 2009, when he defeated Mike Brown to win the WEC championship. The win that earned him a shot at the belt was against Swanson, who was knocked out by Aldo in eight seconds at WEC 41.
Swanson went 12-4 since losing to the Brazilian, and is currently riding a four-fight winning streak over Artem Lobov, Doo Ho Choi, Tatsuya Kawajiri, and Aldo’s teammate Hacran Dias.
"Both athletes changed a lot (since that fight),” Aldo said. "It will be a new fight, a new story. I respect everything he’s been doing in the UFC, and we have to train a lot to face a really tough opponent."
With a 1-2 record in his past three bouts after staying undefeated for a decade, Aldo explains why he deals with his recent loss to Holloway differently than his 13-second defeat to Conor McGregor.
"I think that now we had a fight, right?” Aldo explains. "There was a fight, there was a guy that earned the right to fight for the belt. I won’t say (Max) is the champion yet because he has yet to defend the title for the first time, but staying in this position I can say Max is the champion.
"But Max is a warrior, he’s in the division, is fighting for years, so I respect the way he defeated me. He beat me, no problem. I congratulate him. That’s the big difference that I see in losing now and losing to Conor."