WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo took a huge leap in being recognized as one of the sport’s pound for pound most gifted athletes this past weekend with a one-sided beating of Urijah Faber at WEC 48. The budding mixed martial arts phenom is without a doubt “the next big thing” in mixed martial arts, but sadly, his paycheck currently doesn’t reflect his talent level.
“The featherweight doesn’t pay very much, but I don’t fight for money,” said Aldo in a recent conversation with Tatame.com. “If I did so, I would be screwed. I fight for me, for my family and my team. I go up there focused on this, it doesn’t matter how much money I’ll make of it.”
When asked his thoughts following the recent pummeling of former WEC champ Urijah Faber in The California Kid’s hometown of Sacramento, Aldo claimed to be numb to it all, stating, “I don’t feel anything, my career is just beginning. It was my first belt’s defense. Everybody used to say that to be a champion I would have to defend my title and so I did. I still got a lot to train and to learn, just when the time goes by I’d be able to understand things better, but I’m just starting. I want to practice more and learn… I want to go back to Brazil, spend some time there on Bahia with Luis Carlos (Dórea) working on my boxing.”
And when talk turned to a possible match-up against the likes of former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn in the near future, Aldo was quick to point out that he was in no rush to do anything too crazy. As good as he is, Jose knows better than anyone that he’s still a work in progress.
“I don’t think about it, I’m focused on my current category, I don’t think of changing categories now,” said Aldo in regard to a move up in weight to possibly challenge Penn in a superfight. “I can do this fight, but first I have to maintain and build a solid career on this weight. It was my first belt’s defense… BJ is a great champion, has defended his belt several times, it’s a tough fight, but first I have to keep my good spot on this category and then I’ll think of weight changing.”