With a victory over Rob Font at UFC Vegas 44 this weekend, José Aldo will be targeting a title eliminator against TJ Dillashaw in 2022.
After falling short of the vacant bantamweight gold against Petr Yan last July, not many would have expected Aldo to mount another title run. At the time, the Brazilian was 3-5 since his first UFC defeat versus Conor McGregor, with setbacks against Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski, and a controversial decision loss to Marlon Moraes in his 135-pound debut.
But since a brutal TKO at UFC 251, Aldo has won back-to-back contests and established himself back into title contention. A unanimous decision triumph over Marlon Vera last December put him in the bantamweight win column for the first time, before a similar result against perennial contender Pedro Munhoz in August this year cemented his place in the top five.
“Junior” will look to climb closer to the top step when he collides with Font in this Saturday’s main event.
Aldo Aims To Use Font & Dillashaw To Get Back To The Title
Despite certainly having his hands full with Font, who’s regarded as one of the top strikers in the division and has won his last four Octagon outings, Aldo still has one eye on the future. And should he emerge victorious inside the Apex, the veteran has his sights set on one top contender.
During an appearance on MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, the former UFC Featherweight Champion acknowledged that a clash with TJ Dillashaw could happen in 2022 if he can extend his winning streak to three on December 4. In a perfect world, Aldo says it would go down on the same card as the unification bout between Aljamain Sterling and interim titleholder Petr Yan.
“It might happen. The fact Sterling is injured and we don’t know when he’s coming back, that (Dillashaw fight) could indeed happen in the future. Dillashaw and I, I don’t know if right now or in the near future, we want this fight. It’s a great fight for both of us, the UFC and the fans, so we’d all agree. I don’t know if it could be on the same card (as Sterling vs. Yan 2). If it is, I’ll be ready. My history is rich, so is his, and we need to make this fight.” (h/t MMA Mania)
Nevertheless, Aldo knows he can’t take Font lightly. This weekend will mark the 34-year-old’s second UFC main event of the year. In the UFC Vegas 27 headliner, Font outpointed former champ Cody Garbrandt across five rounds.
Prior to that, the Massachusetts native recorded victories over Sergio Pettis, Ricky Simon, and “Magic” Moraes. He’ll be looking to spoil Aldo’s plans and book a title eliminator for himself on Saturday.
Would you like to see the winner of José Aldo vs. Rob Font face TJ Dillashaw next year?