Jose Aldo has made no secret of his desire to try his hand at boxing – a plan that, at one point, he envisioned happening as soon as he fought out of his current UFC contract.
That may very well be what’s next for the long-time UFC featherweight champion once he’s done with what he says are, now, four contractual bouts. But after coming up short in a title rematch with champ Max Holloway last December, that’s not his main focus.
“As soon as the contract ends, I’ll decide whether we go to boxing or stay in MMA,” Aldo told Brazil’s “Giro Combate” show. “But my dream, right now, is to get the title back. That’s what I’m focused on. That’s what I’m talking to (head coach Dede Pederneiras) about.
“That’s what I told my coaches that I want. That’s why I’m training again and keeping everyone motivated. I know I have a chance, I have the skill, and I want to win (the title) again.”
Aldo knows there are steps to be taken before that happens. First, he has to bounce back from his career’s first losing skid. Already hard at training, the ex-champ is eager to make that happen soon.
Aldo’s target date is May 12, when his adopted home of Rio de Janeiro is set to host UFC 224. And his target opponent, Jeremy Stephens, has even publicly reciprocated the ex-champ’s interest – though with a slight disagreement when it comes to date and location.
Whatever happens there, chances are his next outing will mean a somewhat atypical situation for Aldo. For the first time in almost nine years, a fight of his won’t have title implications. After so many years involved only in high-stakes battles, Aldo is finally able to carry a little less pressure heading into a match.
Is that a more enjoyable experience?
“It’s different,” Aldo said. “But I think I’ve been so used to it for so long, that I kind of miss it a little bit. But, of course, I’m a fighter. We’d prepared for that possibility. I’m training to do three rounds now. But, hopefully soon, with a win, I can move up slowly and fight for that title again.
“And then things will get back to how they should be: Me being champion and then defending the title multiple times again.”
For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Jose Aldo unsure of future after UFC contract ends, but dream is 'to get the title back'