Featherweight contender Jeremy Stephens and former 145-pound champion Jose Aldo have agreed to fight each other, but have different dates in mind. The bout could change the landscape of the featherweight title picture.
“I asked to fight him, he asked to fight me, so it will be a great fight,” Aldo recently told Brazilian media outlet Combate. “I’m waiting for them to set it up.”
Aldo would like to fight on the UFC 224 fight card in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 12. Stephens would like to push that date back a month.
“Jose Aldo is a scary dude. You’ve got to be in shape to fight this guy. I want to fight him. He wants to fight me. I just need a little bit more time,” said Stephens Wednesday’s edition of UFC Tonight. “Let’s do it June 9 in Chicago (at UFC 225).”
Jeremy Stephens is Ready for His UFC Title Shot
Stephens is riding a three-fight winning streak with knockout wins in his last two outings. The 31-year-old believes a win over the former champion will make him the top contender in the featherweight division.
“I believe so,” he said when asked if a win over Aldo should earn him a title shot. “I’m normally not a guy that looks past a guy, but he is that top guy. I’ve basically fought and beat everybody for that spot. I feel like he wants to redeem himself and come back, but I think it’s a little bit too late for him. I’m the next guy to go in there.”
Aldo is a precision striker and Stephens possesses one-punch knockout power. Each deliver devastating leg kicks and have ended fights with them. Stephens predicts that he’ll give the Brazilian a “beatdown” if the bout comes to fruition.
“He’s going to take a bad loss. If we fight, it’s going to be a savage fight. He’s going to take a bad loss and I will be the next guy in line,” he said.
“Jose Aldo, come to Chicago June 9 and you will get that beat down,” Stephens said, addressing Aldo directly. “If you want it, Jose, and you’re listening, bring it on buddy. June 9.”