There’s been a ton of contrived back-and-forth surrounding the proposed Anthony Pettis vs. Jose Aldo super fight following Aldo’s one-sided win over Ricardo Lamas at last weekend’s UFC 169.
While the fight was supposedly close to being booked (at least, according to Dana White) at last Saturday’s post-fight press conference, news came this week that Aldo’s camp wanted the bout to be contested at a 150-pound catchweight.
Pettis’ camp wasn’t too keen on that idea despite “Showtime” being booked to face Aldo for his featherweight title at last summer’s UFC 163 before a knee injury ultimately ruined the bout. The Milwaukee, Wisc.-based fighter was supposedly looking to put the lightweight strap on the line when he returns from surgery for a torn PCL sometime this summer.
There’s no love lost between Pettis and Aldo, but “Showtime” has already missed enough time in his relatively short UFC tenure. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t meet Aldo at 145 pounds (or even a catchweight) should the UFC so desire. He told AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” that he’s looking to defend his belt but ultimately wants to prove he is the best no matter how it gets done:
“I have nothing personal against Jose Aldo. I think he’s a great champion, he has a great skillset; I just feel like I’m better than him. I want to prove that, so nothing personal at all, I feel like I’m the best in the world at 155. Anybody around, near my weight class, I want to prove I’m the best. That’s up to the UFC. I just got my belt; I think it’s right that I defend my bet. He’s defended his belt a lot of times already, so it’s up to the UFC. Whatever they decide; catchweight, 155, 145, I’m always down.”
Pettis sounds like a true champion who will do whatever his company decides is best, and there’s no questioning that he’s one of the most talented all-around martial artists in the game today.
But after having so many problems with injuries in his three years in the Octagon, there’s always going to be doubts about his ability to best Aldo’s punishing leg kicks until he actually beats “Junior.” Pettis injured his knee checking a leg kick in practice, and Aldo’s are arguably the best in the sport.
There’s also the issue of Pettis defending his belt, because it will already have been on hold for nearly a year if he returns to fight someone other than Aldo. If the UFC decides to book Pettis vs. Aldo at a catchweight or 145 pounds, then the lightweight division is literally going to be held hostage for quite some time, and that’s not even considering the recovery time Pettis may need following a bout with Aldo.
It’s looking more and more like this bout needs to happen at lightweight. Aldo has long been rumored to make the move up to 155 pounds; there’s no better time than now. Until it becomes a reality, however, it’s all merely speculation.
Will the UFC clear all of the roadblocks and finally stage this oft-discussed and highly anticipated “super fight”?