Anthony Pettis' camp wants Jose Aldo in a title fight or they'll move on to the next contender
FEB 05, 2014 2:55p ET
What once looked like a done deal to move UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo up to lightweight to face 155-pound king Anthony Pettis now has a few bumps in the road.
On Saturday night following his win over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169, Aldo sounded unsure about dropping his featherweight belt for the chance to go up to 155 pounds to face Pettis for the belt in that division.
UFC president Dana White then interjected and said he knows exactly what would happen – if Aldo moves up to face Pettis he would have to vacate his title at 145 pounds to then battle for the lightweight championship.
On Wednesday, Aldo's coach and manager Andre Pederneiras told Globo in Brazil that their idea is for the UFC's featherweight champion to move up to 150 pounds and meet Pettis in a catchweight bout.
“Nobody wants to take the other’s title, we want to see the fight and do a great show for everybody. Aldo would move up a little, Pettis cuts a little, and it’s good for everybody.”
"(A catchweight) would be interesting for both, they would keep the belts and do the fight everybody wants to see," Pederneiras said (translation by MMAFighting.com). "Nobody wants to take the other’s title, we want to see the fight and do a great show for everybody. Aldo would move up a little, Pettis cuts a little, and it’s good for everybody."
It appears Aldo moving up to lightweight not only comes with conditions, but he may not actually want to go to 155 pounds at all.
Pettis' camp responded today speaking to FOX Sports letting Aldo, Pederneiras and anyone else that's listening know that they are only interested in a title fight with the lightweight champion defending his belt when he returns from injury later this year. Outside of that, Pettis' team has no interest in a catchweight fight with no stakes on the line.
“Our standpoint is if he doesn't want the fight at 155 pounds for the belt, we're moving on the next guy in line.”
"Our standpoint is if he doesn't want the fight at 155 pounds for the belt, we're moving on the next guy in line," Pettis' manager Mike Roberts from MMA Inc. told FOX Sports on Wednesday.
The next guy in line at lightweight could be former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez or former top contender TJ Grant, depending on when he can return from a concussion he suffered last year that knocked him out of a title fight in the first place.
The fact is Pettis wants to defend his lightweight title and he's more than happy to face Aldo, but catchweight bouts with conditions don't seem to interest the reigning champion at 155 pounds. From the sound of things, Pettis' camp would certainly be disappointed not to land the Aldo fight, but the lightweight champion wants to defend his belt against whomever the UFC deems as the top contender.
If it ends up being Aldo, Pettis is ready to sign on the dotted line. If Aldo isn't willing to move up to lightweight, then they will move on to the next challenger.