Dana White (file photo) has plans for Jose Aldo. | Sherdog.com
Hours after the most difficult title defense of his career, Jose Aldo’s next bout was already the subject of speculation.
Following the 24-year-old’s “Fight of the Night”-winning performance against Mark Hominick at UFC 129, members of the press asked UFC President Dana White about the Brazilian’s future as featherweight champion. When questioned whether Aldo would find his way onto the UFC 134 card in Rio de Janeiro, White was non-committal, asserting that he might have other plans for the 145-pound king.
“I don’t know. That’s a curve ball for me right now,” said White. “I think we’re looking at Jose possibly fighting [at UFC 133] in Philly.”
With Aug. 6 now on the table as a tentative return date for the champ, the next logical question surfaced: who will Aldo face in his next title defense?
“Probably [Chad Mendes]. Kenny Florian couldn’t be ready by then,” said White. “Mendes is 10-0. It makes sense.”
White noted that he had not yet discussed the potential title bout with Aldo or manager Ed Soares.
Regarding his hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Hominick in front of a largely hostile crowd of over 55,000, Aldo said he felt that he had showed his versatility in defending his title.
“I never underestimated Mark Hominick. I knew he had heavy hands. If one of us made the wrong move, either one of us could have been knocked out,” said Aldo. “I knew I was able to go all five rounds very strong. It doesn’t really matter if there are even 80,000 people. This is what I live for. I hope if they have a bigger event someday, that I’ll be fighting on that event, too.
“All of my fights are difficult, and I respect all of my opponents. I think tonight showed I have the heart to go all five rounds and not just knock people out [quickly].”
Though the champion looked sharp early, the durable Hominick showed exactly why he was a worthy challenger, eating heavy shots while continually moving forward. The Canadian stormed back in the fifth and final frame, taking the fight to the floor and dropping blows on the champ. Although Aldo praised his opponent’s toughness, the champion asserted that the fight’s outcome was secured by the time Hominick made his move.
“Like I said, Hominick is a super tough fighter. I expected that. I landed some good punches, and I knocked him down in the fight, but I just wasn’t able to finish,” said Aldo. “I was very comfortable in the position. I knew I had won the first four rounds. I was trying to secure a guillotine, but I was unable to do that, so I just held on until the end of the round.”