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Jose Aldo eyes UFC 237 fight with Alexander Volkanovski, but still open to lightweight bout

Jose Aldo is coming off stoppage wins over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — UFC 237 might have lost Amanda Nunes as one of the potential stars for the card, but Jose Aldo is still counting on fighting on May 11.

The former UFC featherweight king has insisted since the beginning of the year that he will be part of every UFC card in Brazil in 2019 before completing his contract and hanging up the gloves. After stopping Renato Moicano earlier this month, he shifted his focus to fighting at UFC 237.

The pay-per-view event will now take place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, a venue where Aldo fought multiple times during his UFC title reign. For UFC 237, Aldo is open to fighting fellow 145-pound contender Alexander Volkanovski or anyone a lightweight opponent.

On Wednesday night, Aldo added another layer to his future plans.

Speaking with the media in one of his burger joints in Rio de Janeiro, the Nova Uniao star said his coach and manager Andre Pederneiras is negotiating his next fight with UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby. His ideal scenario would be fighting on May 11, but said “I can fight before or after as well.”

“I gave them some names, but Volkanovski is a good opponent and is on a great streak,” Aldo said. “He’s coming off a great win over Chad Mendes, so it would be a great fight.”

“That’s why we asked him, it’s a great match-up,” he continued. “He’s a very aggressive fighter, comes forward, so we already had in mind asking for him after (fighting) Moicano. Let’s see if it works. There’s a possibility we fight at lightweight, too, but that’s up to ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras). He has to negotiate.”

If he could choose an opponent between Volkanovski or other name at lightweight, like former UFC and WEC champion Anthony Pettis, Aldo would want “the one that sells more.”

“That’s what matters to me,” Aldo said. “Since I’m coming to the end (of my career), the most sellable is the one I wanna fight.”

Even with a rumor floating around about a potential bout between featherweight king Max Holloway and lightweight contender Tony Ferguson for an interim 155-pound title at UFC 236, Aldo won’t ask for his next fight to be for an interim championship.

“Like I said before, I don’t even think about interim belt,” Aldo said. “I’m thinking about my next fight first. As soon as ‘Dede’ comes and says my next fight we’ll think about the future, but my head is focused on other things now.”

If Holloway does move up to face Ferguson next, Aldo will cheer for him to “move up well and fight in equal conditions with everyone at lightweight.”

”I root for his victory because he’s a kid that deserves it,” Aldo said.

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