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27th Apr 2018

Jose Aldo receives return opponent he requested

Very risky fight

Ben Kiely

This summer, we will see a UFC first from Jose Aldo.

At UFC Calgary, Jose Aldo will compete in his first ever non-title fight in the UFC. The former featherweight king’s reign was so long that he has yet to have a bout inside the Octagon where a belt wasn’t on the line.

The last time he did this was in 2009 in the now-defunct WEC. On that occasion, he knocked out Cub Swanson via flying knee in just eight seconds. That victory secured ‘Scarface’ a crack at Mike Brown’s belt. His TKO win over Brown a few months later kicked off a reign at the top that lasted six years.

He was actually booked for a non-title fight against Ricardo Lamas in December 2017, but the Brazilian was pulled from the event in order to save UFC 218. Aldo stepped in to replace Frankie Edgar in the headline act, where he was finished for the second consecutive time by Max Holloway.

As the Calgary Sun reports, Aldo will finally compete in a non-title UFC bout on July 28. His opponent for the dual will be streaking 145 lb contender Jeremy Stephens.

Who da fook is dat guy?

Stephens (28-14, 15-13 UFC) is in the form of his life. He’s riding a three-fight win streak that began with dominating Gilbert Melendez to a unanimous decision victory, ended with knocking out Josh Emmett and featured another finish of Doo-ho Choi in the middle. He has propelled himself into the top five and a win over the consensus greatest featherweight ever could be enough to clinch a title shot.

Meanwhile, Aldo (26-4, 8-3 UFC) is in the worst form of his career. He has been finished in three of his last four trips to the Octagon. Following that 13-second KO by McGregor, he scored a lopsided unanimous decision victory over Edgar. However, he was beaten to a bloody pulp in his back-to-back bouts against Holloway. A few weeks ago, Aldo revealed on Brazilian TV Show Combate News that he asked to fight ‘Lil Heathen’.

Aldo vs Stephens will serve as the co-main event of the Canadian card. It is understood that the UFC are targetting a women’s flyweight title fight between champion Nicco Montano and Valentina Shevchenko for the main event slot. This would be Montano’s first defence of the young title.