Former UFC & WEC Champion Jose Aldo is interested in a fight with another fellow UFC & WEC Champ, being Dominick Cruz.
The former Featherweight king has dropped down to 135lbs after a 15-year run at 145lbs. Aldo would drop his divisional debut to Marlon Moraes in a controversial split decision. Aldo would then be chose to compete for the vacant bantamweight belt against Petr Yan, where he was left in a pool of blood as he was TKO’ed by Yan in round 5.
Aldo would regain his momentum in the win column, scoring a decision over Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera last December, marking his first win at 135lbs.
Looking For A Fight
Aldo, since then, has agreed to fight former champ Cody Garbrandt. This was also a fight ‘No Love’ had wanted, however it would have no fruition as the UFC booked him instead against top contender Rob Font.
“[Garbrandt] asked for the fight and I agreed right away, but the UFC shot it down,” Aldo told MMA Fighting. “[Garbrandt] and I had already agreed, it was all set, and the UFC didn’t think it was a great fight, they wanted him to fight Rob Font.
Aldo was also interested in fighting another former champ in TJ Dillashaw, this would also pass over, as Dillashaw is set to return against Cory Sandhagen. With two answers left out of the equation, Aldo now focuses on yet another former champ, arguably the greatest bantamweight champion of all-time. Dominick Cruz.
“We’ve been asking for Dominick Cruz for a while now and that’s a fight everybody asks for. We’re expecting to fight him… It’s a big fight to make, Dominick and me, because of our importance. We were both WEC champions and then came to the UFC as champions, so it’s a big fight to make.”
The Return Of Dominick Cruz
We saw Cruz overtake Casey Kenney by split decision at UFC 259 earlier this month. This was Cruz’s first win since 2016 and his first non-title bout since 2014. Cruz is glad to be back, however his recent success has led to his back being painted with an X.
The O’Malley Situation
Cruz has been since linked up to Sean O’Malley after his slam-dunk KO of Thomas Almeida at UFC 260. Chael Sonnen had said Cruz texted him, stating he was interested in fighting O’Malley.
Cruz would deny these claims, saying he never texted Sonnen regarding this or anything else throughout the night. Cruz would refuse to call O’Malley out, however he would not be ‘opposed’ to a potential fight with O’Malley in the future.
“Am I interested in a fighting again?” Cruz told Ariel Helwani. “Yes. Do I need to call out one specific person? No. Am I saying no to one specific person? No.
“I could also see how that would be a matchup that people are talking about. You know, he faints a lot. He uses his range. He’s tall, he’s long, I’m tall. I’m long. I use feints, we have a lot of similarities. He’s an up and coming athlete, I’m sure he’s watched a ton of my fights and saw how successful I am. I see that he uses a lot of stuff, so no, I’m not opposed to it.”
What About Aldo?
Ariel Helwani would bring up another name of interest in the bantamweight division to Cruz. Jose Aldo, who had been calling for a fight with Cruz just recently. Cruz wouldn’t tackle the bait and refused to limit himself to one name in particular, just as he did with O’Malley.
“Look at all the match-ups.” Cruz said. “I’m a fun fight to watch and I’m a tough matchup for anybody in the division. Everybody knows that. So you can match me up with anybody in the top 10 and it’ll be amazing to watch. That’s why there’s no specific reason to call out one person because I’ve got my hands full with anybody in the top 10.
“That’s a fact, anybody in the top 10, I have my hands full. They’re all world title holders. Casey Kenney was a multiple time world champion in [LFA]. So, all of these guys in the top 12, top 15, are world title holders in other organizations. Maybe not in the UFC, but they’re still champions.
“So I got my hands full with everybody there and, uh, whoever I get lined up with, I’m gonna definitely have to put in my work like I’m doing right now.”