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Jose Aldo aiming for ‘great fight’ with T.J. Dillashaw in December

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UFC 265: Aldo v Munoz
Jose Aldo
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

If Jose Aldo gets his way, he could be sharing the cage with a fellow two-time UFC champion soon.

Aldo was victorious in the UFC 265 co-main event Saturday, winning a unanimous decision over bantamweight contender Pedro Munhoz. The former featherweight king now finds himself on his first win streak since moving down to 135 pounds.

Post-fight, Aldo made it clear that he’s targeting a fight with T.J. Dillashaw, who made a successful return to competition in the UFC Vegas 32 main event against Cory Sandhagen.

“It would be great for me to fight with Dillashaw,” Aldo said at the UFC 265 post-fight press conference. “Hopefully by December, I think it would be a great fight. That’s what we expect. That’s what I’m expecting right now.”

Aldo joined the bantamweight division in 2019 during a period in which Dillashaw was serving a two-year suspension for a USADA violation. Though Aldo went winless in his first two bantamweight bouts, a split decision loss to Marlon Moraes was disputed, and he showed flashes of his prime when he went into the fifth round in a championship bout against Petr Yan.

He has now strung together two convincing decision wins over Munhoz and Marlon Vera and he credits much of his improvement to training his boxing with Brazil’s Navy.

“After I lost a fight I felt I needed to incorporate more things into my repertoire and that’s how I got into Navy-sponsored boxing in Brazil,” Aldo said. “I feel that’s how it made better my punches and obviously everything upper, but I’m never gonna forget the kicks.”

Aldo’s once-infamous leg kicks have become more and more infrequent at this stage of his career, but he appears to have made up for it with improved hand speed in addition to the accuracy and technique that have long made him one of MMA’s most feared fighters.

Asked specifically if his increased utilization of the jab is meant to specifically send a message to his competitors, Aldo made his intentions clear.

“Yes, that is the message,” Aldo said. “I’ve been training this a lot and you can [be sure] my hand is going to get quicker and quicker as time moves forward.”