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14th Sep 2016

Max Holloway didn’t react too kindly to Jose Aldo trying to deny him an overdue title shot

Welcome to the new age

Ben Kiely

Max Holloway may have been knocking at the door for a while, but Jose Aldo can only see dollar signs.

We’ve seen a notable change in the way fights get booked in the past year or so. It’s no longer a given that the most deserving fighters will be granted a title shot. Instead, fighters are rewarded based on their ability to garner attention and generate that sweet PPV revenue.

That’s why #12 Dan Henderson is getting the next crack at the middleweight belt, it’s why Conor McGregor’s likely to get the next lightweight title shot and it’s why the UFC have been dragging their heels about giving Stephen Thompson or Demian Maia a shot at Tyron Woodley’s belt.

It’s also the reason why even after winning nine consecutive fights at 145 lb, Max Holloway isn’t guaranteed a title fight next, and interim belt holder Jose Aldo doesn’t have a problem with that.

There’s a queue forming in the UFC’s featherweight division and that can be attributed to the fact that its champion, McGregor, hasn’t fought at that weight class in two fights and all the signs indicate that his next one won’t be at 145 either.

Aldo has made it clear that he wants a chance to exact revenge on McGregor for that devastating 13-second knockout at UFC 194. However, he told Revista Combate that he is prepared to miss out on another bout against the Notorious, even though he believes the outcome would be different the second time around.

“I’m already frustrated. With all these things happening, I’m already really frustrated. Let’s see what happens.”

“Every night I ask God, ‘please give me another chance. Let me get in the Octagon against him (McGregor). I know it will be different this time.'”

Showtime Pettis

If McGregor takes a fight in another division next, the Dubliner will more than likely be forced to vacate his title, meaning Aldo will once again be the undisputed featherweight champion. Should that day arrive, the Brazilian has a preferred opponent to defend his title against – former lightweight champion and newly-established featherweight contender Anthony Pettis.

“But if it doesn’t happen, I’d rather fight Pettis. I think nowadays, I learned a few things with them. There’s more than just the ranking like, ‘there’s a ranking order for title shots.’ No. I have to tend to the business side too. I think a fight against Pettis will sell a lot more than one against Holloway.”

After going on a three-fight skid at 155, Pettis dropped down, had a successful featherweight debut and rose up to sixth in the 145 lb rankings. Following his submission win over Charles Oliveira, Pettis called out Holloway because, hinting that the Hawaiian was ahead of him in the queue.

Aldo’s comments suggest “Showtime” may be next in line though and the prospect of being passed over once again isn’t sitting well with Holloway.

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