Renan Barão Not Switching Weight Classes Like Teammate Jose Aldo, Staying at Bantamweight

February 2, 2014

Renan-Barao-UFC-138_011-478x270UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo stated that he would like to fight lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis following his sixth UFC title defense on Saturday at UFC 169 in Newark, N.J. The two were scheduled to fight in a featherweight match-up on Aug. 3, 2013, but Pettis was forced out of the fight due to a knee injury.

UFC president Dana White explained during the event’s post-fight press conference that if Aldo were to go up to the lightweight division to face Pettis that he would have to relinquish his featherweight crown.

During the press conference, Pettis sent White a text verbally agreeing to face Aldo next.

Aldo (24-1) hasn’t lost in eight years. His Nova Uniao teammate and UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao is also riding an eight-year winning streak, but doesn’t plan to go up to the featherweight division to vie for the title if Aldo decides to vacate it.

“No, I still have a long way to go with this weight division,” said Barao when asked if he’d move up if Aldo vacates the title. “I still have a lot of work to do. I just got the belt, so I’m not planning to go up.”

Barao won the interim bantamweight title at UFC 149, defeating Urijah Faber by unanimous decision. He became the undisputed bantamweight titleholder after the organization was forced to strip Dominick Cruz of the title after he was unable to defend it due to injuries that kept him sidelined for more than two years.

Barao defended the belt for the first time at UFC 169 in a rematch with Faber. Cruz was supposed to face Barao on the card to unify the belts, but withdrew after suffering a groin injury. Faber stepped up and agreed to fill in on short notice. Barao finished him in the first round of the rematch.

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