"I want it at lightweight," Aldo recently said in regards to a potential fight with Pettis. "That's where his belt resides, so I can steal it. It would be better for me since I already have a belt of my own. My belt is already up on the wall at my home."
Aldo is the only featherweight champion the UFC has ever known, earning the belt by holding the WEC title when the UFC elected to add the 145-pound division to its ranks. He's since sucessfully defended the UFC belt five times with wins over Chan Sung Jung, Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian and Mark Hominick.
Recently, UFC President Dana White confirmed the promotion is planning for Aldo to face top featherweight Ricardo Lamas (13-2 MMA, 4-0 UFC) in early 2014, but the Brazilian admits he's hoping for a chance to move up to 155 pounds at some point for a superfight that could potentially make him a part of history.
"I give great importance to superfights," Aldo said. "Once you are a champion, you are a small part of history, but to win in other weight classes, that's very rare, like B.J. Penn and Randy Couture. That will always be remembered in the history of the UFC and of MMA itself. When people talk about MMA legends, those two names are brought up because they succeeded in more than one weight class. Whoever wants to be the best, and be recorded in history, it's necessary to win these superfights."
With Pettis scratched from the planned bout with Aldo, the Brazilian instead faced replacement opponent Jung, who was dispatched with a fourth-round TKO. Meanwhile, Pettis – the former WEC lightweight champ – returned to 155 pounds, where he filled in for an injured T.J. Grant and submitted Benson Henderson to claim the UFC belt.
With both fighters now holding UFC belts, the potential of them meeting started to become a little murky, with UFC President Dana White suggesting Aldo's manager and trainer, Andre Pederneiras, was making his client look scared of Aldo by insisting the vaunted striker drop his belt and come down to featherweight if the bout was going to take place. Now Aldo is singing a different tune and insists he'd like to become just the third fighter to hold a UFC championship belt in two different weight classes – and he'd like to see his Nova Uniao teammate and current interim bantamweight champ Renan Barao take a similar step.
"Many people like to talk superfights, but I see a certain respect, maybe it's fear, to take on a fight like this," Aldo said. "I think it's a great idea. I think fighting up means that you can prove that you are the best and that you can win in the class above your own. As I see it, if Renan fights at featherweight, he would be a great champion. He has the strength and the game to fight at featherweight. Regarding myself, I already faced Frankie Edgar and was able to show that I would be able to fight as a lightweight and become the champion.
"I look at superfights positively, and I hope this happens in the future. I don't believe in hiding. To win more than one belt would be like Michael Phelps winning multiple gold medals at the Olympics. If, as a champion, you just stay within the confines your weight class, you still make some sort of history, but you won't become a legend."
Aldo's shot at legend status will have to wait for now, as Lamas appears to be on the immediate horizon. But the 27-year-old champ has been steadily growing in recent years, and he's itching to make the move up to 155 pounds. He's just waiting on the green light from those guiding his career.
"A change in weight has been talked about a lot – me going up in weight; I even requested this," Aldo said. "But it has to be at the right moment. 'Dede' Pederneiras and Dana White didn't think it was a good idea, but with every title defense, we are closer to this actually taking place. It's in their hands. Once they think it's a good idea for me to go up in weight, then I'm fighting at lightweight, without any problem."