When the UFC announced that former two division champion Conor McGregor had "relinquished" his featherweight belt in favor of his newly-acquired lightweight title, some were shocked, but not former featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“It was a fact that this was going to happen," said Aldo to SporTV channel’s Planeta (h/t MMAJunkie) We knew (McGregor) was going to relinquish the belt – obviously, either mine or the lightweight one."
The announcement was made over the weekend that due to McGregor vacating the belt, Aldo would take the position of undisputed champion (he was previously interim champion) and the winner of the #UFC206 main event bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis would be named interim champion.
"So he chose to let go of mine. It’s no problem," Aldo said. "Of course, first I want to do a (title) defense and then, yes, I will want to pursue a fight with (McGregor).”
It's likely that Aldo will fight the winner of Holloway vs. Pettis and then Aldo hopes he will be granted the much anticipated (and promised) rematch with McGregor.
Aldo faced McGregor at UFC 194 where he was knocked out in just 13 seconds by the Irishman. Since then, he's asked the UFC for a rematch, then subsequently asked to be released from his contract when the rematch never happened. It looks as though a happy medium has been reached, and Aldo will fight again.
“I think I’ve always been the champion, and I will always be the champion,” he said. “As long as I’m at featherweight, no matter what happens, I’ll keep being the champion. So this, for me, was something that was already certain. The minute I lost, I knew, the next day, the belt would be mine again. It was just a matter of time. Of course, (it was) not the way I wanted, but I’m happy because I know I’m the champion.”
But, we all know that loss to McGregor still burns.