Jose Aldo may no longer be atop the UFC's featherweight division, but he'd make a great welcoming party for anyone looking to get in the hunt for the 145-pound title.
Aldo once reigned as the one and only undisputed featherweight champion of the UFC, in addition to not having lost in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition in over a decade. "Scarface" eventually ran into a young, heavy-handed Irishman in Conor McGregor, who took away Aldo's decade of dominance in just 13 seconds. The pair met in the main event of UFC 194 in December of 2015, and right out the gate McGregor landed a counter-left hand that shut the Brazilian's lights out and ended his title reign.
He then captured the interim featherweight title by defeating Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, before being promoted back to undisputed champion after McGregor was forced to vacate the title. Aldo attempted to make another title defense against Max Holloway in his home country of Brazil, but was finished in the third round via TKO.
Now that Aldo is out of the title picture, he may be the perfect bait for one top ranked lightweight to jump into the featherweight title picture. 155-pounder Michael Johnson recently expressed his interest in dropping down to featherweight, and has a great idea as to who he'd like to challenge upon his division debut - Jose Aldo (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“There’s always been a thought in my head to drop down,” Johnson said. “Regardless of how I was doing in this division, win or lose, that was kind of a plan of mine – to drop down to 145, test the waters.
“Come back up to 155, maybe, because I fought everybody in the top 10 of the 155. I fought numerous people. I just wanted to see new changes, new faces and to see how I react.
"It has nothing to do with the fact that I lost to Justin. Even if I would have won, 145 still would have been a thought in my mind.”
“I was looking toward December, and November got brought up, so we’ll have to see,” Johnson said. “We’ll have to see everybody’s schedules and see where they can fit me in.”
“The next toughest guy in line,” Johnson said. “I think that’s maybe detrimental to my career, maybe hurts it a little bit that I always go for the toughest fight. But my first fight at 145, Aldo is a former champ, he’s one of the best in the world – always been.
“So that’s one guy that I would love to fight. I’m not in this sport to fight the guy that’s OK. I want the toughest guy. I want everybody that says he can’t be beat.”
“I think that (the UFC brass and I) have a really good relationship, because I put on good fights,” Johnson said. “Regardless of where it’s going to be, whatever night. So, fingers crossed, hopefully a big fight comes at 145. Because in order for me to make that drop, it has to be a big fight. It’s going to be quite a bit of weight for me.”
What are your thoughts on Johnson possibly moving down to featherweight to challenge Aldo? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
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