Featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo is quickly becoming the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet. His well-oiled skill set has fueled a sensational 16-fight win streak, which the Brazilian will try to prolong at UFC 169 when he defends his title opposite Ricardo Lamas.
But as prolific as the 27-year-old has been at the 145-pound mark, Aldo has his sights set on the bigger picture.
"People will never forget this idea," Aldo said regarding the prospect of moving up to lightweight in a recent interview with MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz. "We’ll see what happens. I still have many goals to accomplish. One day I’ll fight at 155."
Remember, Aldo tested the waters against a former top lightweight standout in Frankie Edgar early last year and captured a unanimous decision. The championship bout was much closer than people initially expected, but Junior still prevailed.
"We always train with heavier sparring partners to make it harder, so the fight will be easier," Aldo added. "It would be normal for me (to fight at 155). We create difficulties in training so we never think it’s easy."
Some of the training partners Aldo eludes to are none other than UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao, Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas and former top middleweight contender Thales Leites.
In any case, Aldo better be focused on the task at hand. Lamas is a very dangerous fighter who utilizes punishing ground-and-pound to stifle the best athletes in the world. If the champ isn't careful, his featherweight reign could be over sooner than expected.
"Ricardo Lamas deserved this chance, he was the next in line," he said. "He’s coming off good wins and earned the shot. He’s a well-rounded fighter, but I still have to sit down with my team to watch his videos and plan a strategy."
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