Following two losses to T.J. Dillashaw, there has been some talk of Renan Barao moving up to featherweight. After multiple tough battles with the scales coupled with the impending IV ban, it did make sense for the former UFC bantamweight champ to consider a switch.
While past scenarios had fighters hesitating to switch divisions ruled by their teammates — with Machida and Silva being one of the more popular cases — current featherweight champ Jose Aldo welcomes the move of his Nova Uniao stablemate.
“We have to see what’s best for Barao. He suffers a lot to make weight. He’s kind of (big) for the division. I hope he moves up, yes,” Jose Aldo told the assembled media. “I will root for him no matter what, no matter where he is, at 145 of 135. I hope he can fight well at featherweight, that he moves up well.”
“This time Barao trained hard, we were confident he would do a completely different fight,” Aldo said about the Dillashaw rematch. “He tried to fight the way he was training in the gym, but he couldn’t.”
“He’s a close friend, I like him a lot. I know he has a good head and will bounce back at my weight or at bantamweight, and that he’s able to do an excellent job.”
While there has also been talk about Aldo possibly moving up as well, he says for the time being, he’s planning on continuing his reign at 145 lbs regardless if his teammate joins the division or not.
“About me moving up, we were really close in the past. Now I’ll just stay here. We’re fine at featherweight, so we’ll keep it.”
Aldo is back to training after suffering a broken rib while preparing for UFC 189. He is expected to face Conor McGregor in a title unification in the coming months.
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