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With Donald Cerrone eyeing Conor McGregor next, Jose Aldo suggests lightweight bout with Anthony Pettis for UFC 237

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Anthony Pettis and Jose Aldo (Alexandre Loureiro, INOVAFOTO)
Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis were booked to fight in Brazil in 2013.
Alexandre Loureiro, Inovafoto

FORTALEZA, Brazil — Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis came close to fighting in the past, and the Brazilian is still open to the idea.

The former UFC featherweight champion was slated to defend his 145-pound throne against “Showtime” in Aug. 2013, but an injury forced the American out of the match. More than five years later and eyeing to retire by the end of 2019, Aldo once again teases a move to another weight class.

In September 2018, Aldo told Brazilian reporters in Rio de Janeiro that the UFC offered him a lightweight main event with Donald Cerrone for later that year in Sao Paulo. At the time, Aldo said he initially agreed to it but his coach Andre Pederneiras later turned down the offer.

Aldo’s masterplan for 2019 is to fight at every UFC event in Brazil and hang up his gloves. With UFC 237 scheduled for May 11 in a yet-to-be-defined city in his home country, Aldo sees a former lightweight champion as an ideal opponent.

“This fight was very close (to happening),” Aldo said of Cerrone during Thursday's UFC Fortaleza media day. "They offered it to us and I was really happy because we’re both aggressive fighters and it would be a big fight, but the discussion has taken another path now, he’s trying to fight Conor (McGregor) and I don’t see how this fight happens now.”

“But (Anthony) Pettis would be an excellent opponent,” he continued. “We were close to fighting twice before and didn’t happen. Having this fight in May, at lightweight, would be even better.”

Pettis is currently booked to compete at welterweight, taking on fellow striker Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Nashville on March 23.

Aldo, who co-headlines Saturday’s UFC Fortaleza against featherweight contender Renato Moicano, says he sent the UFC a list of potential opponents he would be down to facing in May.

“Every ranked featherweight, down to the No. 15,” Aldo said when asked who is on the list. “I put some lightweights there as well, like Dustin Poirier and other ranked fighters. All 15 names. Take a look at the rankings and that’s pretty much my list.”