With Jose Aldo back in the UFC win column after defeating Jeremy Stephens via TKO last month, head coach Andre Pederneiras is already brainstorming what’s next for the former featherweight champion.
While it’s going to take Aldo an additional victory or two to lock down another title fight — especially after losing to Max Holloway twice in the past 14 months — Pederneiras is already setting the bar high for the Brazilian’s final few fights.
If Pederneiras had it his way, UFC would book a rematch between Aldo and former UFC champion Conor McGregor. Remember, “Notorious” knocked Aldo out in 13 seconds nearly three years ago to claim the 145-pound crown.
“We can try to angle for a rematch, because I really did think it was unfair and I think most people thought it was unfair that there wasn’t a rematch,” Pederneiras told MMAjunkie. “But, as far as Conor goes, he isn’t to blame. He may have turned it down, but the UFC had the power to tell him to fight. And they didn’t.
“I think the first fight didn’t really represent what the fight could have been – unfortunately for all of those who wanted to see it. So I’d choose Conor. Even though I don’t have anything against him.”
With McGregor already scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title at UFC 229 on Oct. 6 it would take Aldo a very long time to get his hands back on the Irishman. It’s unknown if UFC would even be remotely interested in such a rematch, but given Aldo’s undying popularity in Brazil maybe it’s something that will surface in the future.
Despite finishing Aldo in 13 seconds back at UFC 194, Pederneiras still respects McGregor as a martial artist. The Brazilian coach believes McGregor isn’t the person he portrays to be leading up to a fight, but understands it’s all a show to bring in the big bucks.
“I think, behind that ‘artist,’ he’s a good person, who doesn’t represent the things he says,” Pederneiras said. “He talks a bunch of crap to get attention and sell. Outside of that, no, he’ll respect you whenever you meet up with him.
“I think that was that ‘artist,’ the way I see it. He knows he’s going to have to fight (Khabib Nurmagomedov) at some point. Since he knows that, why not start creating some chaos and start promoting it?”
If Aldo wants to get another crack at McGregor he may have to journey up to 155 pounds to do so. Aldo doesn’t have a lot of time left to make it happen considering the veteran is planning on retiring after his current UFC contract expires, so he must work quickly to regain the dominance he once possessed.