Jose Aldo is gearing up for a featherweight title unification bout with Max Holloway at UFC 212. This will count as a title defense for Aldo, and it represents his first one since the infamous 13-second KO loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194. McGregor “relinquished” his belt and currently possesses the lightweight strap, and is otherwise pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
At the UFC 212 media conference call on Thursday, Aldo closed the door on ever getting the chance to rematch McGregor. (Via MMA Fighting)
"Everybody still asks me if I want or if I don’t want (to fight him again). That’s not up to me. That's up to the UFC, and we know it will never happen. I don’t even know if he will come back to fight. The UFC tried to do a (second) fight and he didn’t want it, didn’t accept it, because what happened will never happen again.”
"I couldn’t care less what Conor does or doesn’t do,” Aldo said. "I’m a UFC fighter and I’m the best featherweight. I have to focus on training and evolving to defend my belt.”
Back in November, Aldo said he wanted to move up to lightweight and rematch McGregor, but only after making a defense at featherweight. Now it seems as if he’s closed the chapter on this story.
Aldo has had his own interest in starting a boxing career, and told the media he spoke to Dana White about it. In the meantime, his attention is focused on Holloway, who won the interim title by stopping Anthony Pettis at UFC 206.
"I think Max is a big challenge, an opponent that I already expected to face in the future,” Aldo said. "I try to look at every up-and-comer. I’m a reference (point), I’m a target. Everybody wants the champion, so I try to study every young athlete that enters the division.
"It’s another test for me,” Aldo added. "He’s a young guy, hungry to win. He’s another one who will try and fail. That’s for sure."
UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway takes place at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Saturday, June 3rd. The main card airs live on pay-per-view, with prelims available on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.