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Jose Aldo is gunning for a title shot, but he’ll settle for T.J. Dillashaw first

With the bantamweight title picture a mess, Jose Aldo is willing to fight against former champ T.J. Dillashaw to figure out dibs on a title shot.

UFC Fight Night: Font v Aldo Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Jose Aldo showed the grit and perseverance of a champion in his tough five-round fight against Rob Font, one that the 50-45, 50-45, 49-46 scores don’t really capture properly. From the opening bell it looked like Font was the faster, more precise striker, and he peppered Aldo with jabs and body shots through the first round.

But, Aldo was undaunted and kept coming forward. He landed a big straight right that staggered Font with 10 seconds left, and it was only by the grace of the buzzer that the fight wasn’t ended then and there (watch highlights here).

This was the pattern of the fight — Font working his slick striking, but largely unable faze Aldo, then “Scarface” returning fire with shots that left Font wobbled and retreating. Add in a couple of exchanges on the ground where “Scarface” dominated, and you have a smart win for the 35-year-old former Featherweight champ, who is still dreaming of gold at 135 pounds.

“Rob Font is a very tough guy, we knew his quality,” Aldo said after the fight in Portuguese. “But, I’m after my dream, I want to be champion of this division and no one will stop me.

“I’m training a little of everything,” he continued. “We got it in my head that I have to be a complete MMA athlete. We have been working a lot in the Navy.”

With interim Bantamweight champion Petr Yan in a holding pattern as champ Aljamain Sterling recovers from neck surgery, it’s unclear when the runway could be cleared for future contenders. So, while Aldo clearly feels his three win streak over opponents like Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font are deserving of a title shot, he’s willing to settle for a title eliminator against former Bantamweight roost ruler, T.J. Dillashaw.

“Next time I wanted to fight for the title, but I don’t know how it’s going to be,” Aldo said. “So I think Dillashaw and I are there, and a fight between me and TJ Dillashaw would be spectacular.”

It certainly would be, and Dillashaw did place his return to action from a knee injury at early 2022. Is he willing to face Aldo? That’s less clear considering he would have been in that interim bantamweight title fight if he hadn’t been hurt. Instead it was the guy that he beat, Cory Sandhagen, that was tapped.

It sucks, but certainly makes for a stronger argument as far as deserving a title shot.


For complete UFC Vegas 44 results and coverage click here.