If everything had worked out, UFC Fight Night 137 could have had quite the intriguing main event.
Speaking recently with Brazilian media (translation and video courtesy of MMAFighting.com), Jose Aldo revealed that the Las Vegas-based promotion offered him a short-notice fight against Donald Cerrone to headline the Sept. 22 card in Sao Paulo after Glover Teixeira pulled out of the original main event matchup with Jimi Manuwa.
“When Glover pulled out and they had no main event, they asked if there was a possibility for me to fight,” Aldo said. “We accepted, depending on the opponent, and they offered Cerrone right after, and he had already agreed, and [coach Andre Pederneiras] didn’t think it would be good because there wasn’t enough time. We needed some time to rest before we started another camp again, so it didn’t happen. But now we’re waiting for ‘Dede’ to talk to them again so we know who we’re fighting.”
Cerrone’s last nine bouts have been contested at 170 pounds, and he is scheduled to face Mike Perry in another welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night 139 on Nov. 10. However, “Cowboy” began his career at lightweight and has mentioned that he eventually wants to return to 155 pounds. Aldo, a longtime featherweight champion, assumed the UFC was offering the proposed matchup at lightweight and not 170 pounds.
“It was actually funny. [Matchmaker Sean Shelby] called ‘Dede’ talking about the fight, and ‘Dede’ asked who would be the opponent, and they called back moments after offering Cerrone,” he said. “It would be 155 for sure, right? No way it’s 170, it’s too heavy. But it was tough because we didn’t have enough time to prepare, especially against Cerrone, a very tough guy, someone who fights hard in his losses, so there was no possibility. Maybe the possibility of fighting in Brazil got me overexcited, I said it was possible, but thinking clearly there was no way we could fight, especially someone like Cerrone. I have to be very well trained to fight him.”
After losses in three of his previous four bouts, Aldo returned to form at UFC on Fox 30 on July 28, when he stopped Jeremy Stephens via technical knockout 4:19 into the first round. The Nova Uniao standout does not currently have a fight booked.
UFC Fight Night 137 will be headlined by a bout pitting Manuwa against natural middleweight Thiago Santos, who agreed to step in and replace Teixeira.