Jose Aldo can now be considered the UFC featherweight champion and will make his next title defense on Jan 1 as a part of UFC 125.
The announcement was made as a part of the major news by UFC president Dana White on Thursday that the WEC would be merged with the UFC starting in 2011.
“Jan 1st Jose Aldo will defend his title,” White said.
Aldo had previously been offered a move to the UFC and a chance to go up to 155lbs and face Kenny Florian in his debut fight. Aldo and his team opted to turn down that fight, but the Brazilian phenom will still get the chance to compete in the Octagon on New Year’s Day.
Aldo is the first WEC champion to have his title rebranded as he will now be referred to as the UFC featherweight champion.
As as opponents go, White said at this time there was nothing confirmed stating, “we don’t know yet.”
Mark Hominick had been a possible opponent for Aldo, but a more likely candidate would be Josh Grispi if he is able to win his Nov 11 fight against Erik Koch at WEC 52. White didn’t rule out the possibility of a UFC 155lber dropping down in weight to face the featherweight champion either.
Aldo’s title defense will now take over the co-main event status for the Jan 1 card also featuring lightweight champion Frankie Edgar defending his belt against Gray Maynard.