Saturday, October 16, 2021

José Aldo Aiming For T.J. Dillashaw Before Considering Cruz Fight

Former UFC featherweight champion José Aldo has set his sights on a fellow former champ in T.J. Dillashaw.

“Junior” recently made an Octagon appearance in August against the #9-ranked Pedro Munhoz. The former champion was featured on the UFC 265: Lewis vs. Gane PPV and reminded everyone of his intentions for another title run.

The timing of his win was unfortunate, as T.J. Dillashaw took massive damage in the process of scraping past the rangy striker Cory Sandhagen in July. In the middle of an early scramble, the former two-time champ admits he got lazy and let Sandhagen rip up his knee while briefly stuck in a heel hook.

According to our initial report on Aug. 9, Dillashaw mentioned that he believes a viable return to training is possible after three months. It appears the time frame may line up for Aldo, who is fixated on a pairing with Dillashaw.

“Dillashaw is the focus,” Aldo told MMA Fighting. “If it’s early next year, I can wait too. I’ll leave that up to ‘Dede’ [coach Andre Pederneiras] to deal with. I want to fight by December or January, tops. With another great fight and win, we can get closer to the belt.”

Aldo seems willing to wait and has expressed patience, as the match-up has the makings to be an epic battle. After hearing reporters talk about a potential fight with two prominent WEC legends in Dominick Cruz and Aldo, “Junior” was cold to the idea. Then, insisted that Rob Font would sooner be a better fight than the 36-year old Cruz.

“I heard some reporters talking about this fight [with Cruz] but I think we’re both going different directions,” Aldo said. “He’s more dedicated to [UFC] broadcasts than his own fighting career. I don’t think about fighting Dominick today. I respect him, I also like him for the fact he’s one of the greatest bantamweight champions, but right now I’m heading towards the title. There’s no reason why I’ll stop and do a fight that will take me nowhere. It’s more likely for me to fight Rob Font than Dominick Cruz.”

The Brazilian legend in his heyday ran up an 18-fight winning streak at 145 pounds before losing in dramatic fashion to the supernova Conor McGregor in 13 seconds. Despite the setbacks he’s endured in the UFC, he is relentless in his pursuit to wear gold around his waist just one more time.

Would you rather see José Aldo fight Dominick Cruz or TJ Dillashaw?

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