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Barao will only move to 145 if Aldo leaves division

ESPN staff
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Renan Barao will never fight Jose Aldo © Getty Images
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Renan Barao insists Jose Aldo holds the key to his own long-term future in the UFC, revealing he would only step up to featherweight if the current champion climbs into the lightweight division.

Barao and Aldo train together on a daily basis and have been likened for their fighting styles. As a proud Brazilian Barao - who headlines UFC London against Michael McDonald on February 16 - says there is nobody in the sport he respects more.

Aldo takes on Frankie Edgar in a defence of his featherweight crown at UFC 156 on February 2, and Barao insists the Brazilian duo will never share the same Octagon.

"I admire Vitor [Belfort] and Anderson [Silva], they're amazing athletes, but the guy I've always looked up to is Jose Aldo," Barao told ESPN. "He's on my team, I've followed his career and seen how much he has struggled, that is why I have so much respect for him.

"We train together every day at the gym. We train very hard, around three times a day, and we're always exchanging tips with each other. We're very close."

Barao defends his interim bantamweight title against McDonald at Wembley Arena, and claims his biggest test will be making weight for the February showdown. It seems his long-term future rests at 145lbs, but Barao will only move if Aldo is no longer a potential rival.

"It depends on Jose Aldo. If he moves up a weight class, I might move up too," Barao said. "The thought [of fighting Aldo] has never crossed my mind.

"My biggest problem is always cutting weight, that's the biggest trouble I have. So far, so good this time. I'm doing well but we'll have to see how I'm doing closer to fight night."

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