Jose Aldo has stated that he wants to fight Jeremy Stephens at UFC 224 on May 12th in Rio De Janeiro, and it seems that the former featherweight champion is confident that it will happen.
“I asked to fight him, he asked to fight me, so it will be a great fight,” Aldo told MMAfighting.com. “I’m waiting for them to set it up.”
The potential match-up comes at a time when both men are experiencing opposing trajectories in their careers.
In Aldo’s case, after a long reign as the champion at 145lbs and having only lost once in 26 fights, he’s now experienced defeat in three of his last four fights.
Admittedly though, all three losses have come against the best of the best, with the 31-year-old ‘Scarface’ having seen his title seized from his grasp by Conor McGregor courtesy of a shocking 13 second knockout back in 2015, while Max Holloway has since TKO’d him twice as he took control of the division in 2017.
Meanwhile, the 31-year-old Stephens is enjoying the best form of his career with three victories in a row over respected opponents in the shape of Gilbert Melendez, Doo Ho Choi and most recently Josh Emmett.
Stephens has headlined his last two fights and he’ll now be hoping that will lead to higher profile fights that could put him into title contention, with a bout against Aldo being a great opportunity to do just that.
All the pieces seem to fit into place, but it remains to be seen whether the UFC will go ahead and make this fight official in the coming weeks.