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Jose Aldo feels ‘strong’ at bantamweight, sees Marlon Vera as ‘great opponent’

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Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo doesn’t see himself going back to his original division anymore.

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo is ready to call the bantamweight division his new home for good. After spending almost the entirety of his career in the heavier weight class, the Brazilian admits to feeling great at 135 pounds and puts his weight cutting problems in the past.

Although Aldo has lost both of his outings at bantamweight, he believes his recent track record does not paint a real picture of his current situation. In an interview with Combate, Aldo once again pointed out how he feels like he won his fight against Marlon Moraes and praises his performance against Petr Yan, despite being finished in the fifth round.

“About my first bantamweight bout.” Jose said. “I clearly won it. It’s not up for debate. I showed everyone that fight and they all gave me the nod. On Sherdog it shows I lost, but I don’t see it that way. In my last fight, I was fighting for the title, I aimed high and did well. That’s part of the job, I had a great fight against Petr. Nowadays, I don’t see myself coming back to the featherweight division. No matter what might happen, I’m doing really well in this division, I feel very strong for the weight class. I don’t even think about going back up to featherweight now.”

Paired up against exciting finisher Marlon Vera for a bout at UFC Vegas 17, Aldo praises his opponent. Even though Jose believes he is versatile enough to be prepared for anything that might happen in a fight, the former champion does call ‘Chito’ a great opponent, while keeping his expectations low when it comes to the current bantamweight title picture.

“I don’t see myself winning and talking about fighting for the title or anything. That hasn’t even crossed my mind. I need to win, I built my career around winning. That’s what I’m always in search of. Ever since I started fighting, that’s what I’m always looking for. I have no expectations about the belt. First of all, I need to win, win, win. After that I’ll see what I can get. On Saturday I need to fight Marlon and beat him. Then I’ll call out another one, then another one and then we’ll see what happens.”

“Because I’m so versatile, it’s easy for me to adapt to any style.” Aldo continued. “No matter the opponent, if the fight is on the ground or anywhere else. I can fight well anywhere. I have to do my best, do what I trained, that’s how I’ll win. It’s not about matching up well (with an opponent), that doesn’t exist. It’s about how prepared you’ll be when you get there and if you’ll be able to put to practice what you trained. I see him as any other fighter. I’ll always respect them, be it Marlon or anyone else. Today, he’s a great opponent that I have to beat on Saturday.”

In his most recent outings, Jose Aldo (28-7) dropped losses to Petr Yan, Marlon Moraes and Alexander Volkanovski. Before the skid, the 34-year-old was on a two-fight winning streak, with TKO victories over Renato Moicano and Jeremy Stephens.

Now, Jose Aldo is expected to take on Marlon Vera at UFC Vegas 17, on December 19, at the UFC Apex, in Las Vegas. The card is scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight bout between top contenders Stephen Thompson and Geoff Neal.