Anthony Pettis made it abundantly clear who he wants to fight next, after his championship win at UFC 164, by calling out featherweight champ Jose Aldo. While the bout makes sense on several levels, and the two were scheduled to fight on August 3rd, it remains to be seen if and at what weight it will take place.
After Pettis announced he has unfinished business with Aldo, the latter’s coach and manager, Andre Pederneiras, tweeted that they expected “Showtime” to relinquish his lightweight belt and fight Aldo at 145. Pederneiras furthered that “we were not the ones who left the fight in Rio”, in reference to the fact Pettis withdrew from UFC 163 due to a knee injury. The comments apparently didn’t sit well with Dana White, who argued that the demands might make it look like Aldo is “afraid of Anthony Pettis” and therefore give him an “advantage.”
Well, in a follow up interview on the Brazilian TV show Planeta Nocaute, here’s what Aldo reportedly had to say about the idea he’s intimidated by Pettis (as transcribed by MMA Fighting.com):
“I can fight Cain Velasquez if they want,” Aldo said. “It’s not up to me, I’m not the matchmaker. I want to fight, I’m here to fight. I train everyday to destroy whoever they put in front of me. I’m not scared of anyone. They have two arms and two legs, and I will do my best and win.”
“(Andre) is absolutely right,” Aldo said. “They forced us to do something and Andre wants something in return. I agree with everything Andre says, and I can fight anyone. Sometimes Dana says things that you better not pay attention. (Dana) knows he promised us things and he knows he has to give us, so that’s why he says those things. We’ll see what happens.”
So, there you have it. Aldo is referring to the fact that initially he was reportedly promised a shot at the lightweight belt if he defeated Pettis, as the latter had been granted an immediate title shot at 145. Posturing aside, in terms of weight class etc, it does seem like this fight’s inevitable. Since both men were injured in their last outings, however, it could be a while before it gets booked.
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