Patricio Pitbull always believed he’d beat Jose Aldo if the UFC and Bellator ever reached a deal to match up their featherweight champions. Now, with Aldo retired and no longer under UFC contract, Pitbull feels the door for a “superfight” is more open than ever.
Pitbull said on this week’s Trocação Franca podcast that he believes Aldo’s retirement was a decision made by others, and “King of Rio” will eventually return to some form of competition.
“You feel there was a spark in his decision [to retire], that it was time to stop, that he had already done a lot for the sport,” Pitbull said. “He’s well financially, but I think, for his age, that his fire isn’t out yet. He’ll sit down, enjoy his son that was just born, his daughter, his marriage, and the moment will come where he will have that desire to fight again, and maybe he goes to boxing. There were some talks out there between him and ‘Popo’ [former WBO and WBA champion Acelino Freitas]. He can also do a [MMA] superfight now that he’s not under contract [with the UFC]. The world has opened for him one more time.”
Aldo hung up his gloves following a loss to Merab Dvalishvili, which put an end to his impressive bantamweight win streak, while Pitbull recently regained his Bellator featherweight title against A.J. McKee and is set to put it on the line Saturday against Adam Borics at Bellator 286 in Long Beach, Calif.
Pitbull congratulated his fellow Brazilian for “a beautiful run” in MMA and lamented the fact they were never able to fight when both were in their primes.
“It would have been good [to fight in our primes], right?” he said. “It would have been a decider of who really is the best featherweight. We have very similar numbers. Amount of wins, title defenses, submissions, knockouts, length of title reign, etc. Even though many people say, ‘Whoever is in the UFC is the best and whoever is in Bellator is the second best,’ it’s impossible to say that unless you put them to fight.
“It didn’t happen, time has passed, he no longer has the belt, he stopped fighting, but the future is long and opportunities are endless. We’re not that old. If it’s a fight between two old guys, it’s cool, we’d be equal. Or in MMA, a superfight, everybody out of contract. Who knows?”
Aldo will remain forever a legend for the sport after everything he’s done in the WEC and the UFC, Pitbull said. But the Bellator star thinks that, unlike other legends of the game, Aldo still has a lot left in his tank despite deciding to end his career.
“In my point of view, hes not retiring outside of his prime,” Pitbull said. “He was defeated, but he’s still fast, strong. He never look like an old and tired champion. He was just defeated a few times, which is part of the career for any fighter and any champion.”