Jose Aldo has ruled out a fight between him and Dominick Cruz and is instead hoping to square off against TJ Dillashaw in a number one contender fight next.

The former featherweight champion re-established himself as a player at bantamweight with a dominant decision win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265.

Aldo is laser-focused on the 135lb strap currently held by Aljamain Sterling who is set to put it on the line against Petr Yan at UFC 267 on October 30.

The winner of that match-up appears to be set to face Dillashaw who returned from his EPO-induced two-year layoff to pick up a razor-thin split decision win over Cory Sandhagen earlier this year.

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During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Aldo revealed he is still hoping to face Dillashaw next despite the fact the former two-time bantamweight champion seems set for a title shot.

“I want to climb step-by-step,” Aldo said. “I may have bitten off more than I could chew [early in my bantamweight run] but it happens, you aim big and hit big. But it’s different now, we’re going step-by-step, adapting to the division. After this great fight, I want to put on another great performance by December.

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“Dillashaw is the focus,” Aldo continued. “If it’s early next year, I can wait too. I’ll leave that up to ‘Dede’ [coach Andre Pederneiras] to deal with. I want to fight by December or January, tops. With another great fight and win, we can get closer to the belt.”

Aldo has heard people talking about a potential fight between him and bantamweight legend, Cruz, but he’s not interested and explained why.

“I heard some reporters talking about this fight [with Cruz] but I think we’re both going different directions,” Aldo said. “He’s more dedicated to [UFC] broadcasts than his own fighting career. I don’t think about fighting Dominick today. I respect him, I also like him for the fact he’s one of the greatest bantamweight champions, but right now I’m heading towards the title. There’s no reason why I’ll stop and do a fight that will take me nowhere. It’s more likely for me to fight Rob Font than Dominick Cruz.”

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Who do you think Jose Aldo should fight next?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.