Tired Of Waiting For Anthony Pettis, Jose Aldo Is Ready To Defend The Featherweight Crown


Longtime UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr. recently secured his sixth straight title defense with a five round decision win over Ricardo Lamas at February’s UFC 169.

The victory should have been a celebratory one for Aldo, who has maintained an aura of invincibility since taking the WEC featherweight crown from Mike Brown. However, it wasn’t exactly a smooth transition to his next bout, which is currently unknown.

UFC President Dana White blasted Aldo for playing it safe against Lamas, noting that Aldo can do anything, but tends to lay back and coast to victory.

Then, a highly publicized back-and-forth about Aldo’s long-rumored move up to lightweight in order to face champion Anthony Pettis followed. The bout was supposedly booked at the UFC 169 post-fight press conference, but after a few days, Aldo’s camp said they wanted the bout to be contested at a catchweight so no one had to give up their titles.

That essentially stopped the potential blockbuster in its tracks, and it was buried even further down the line when Pettis signed on to face Gilbert Melendez for the belt after the two square off as opposing coaches on TUF 20.

Speaking in Natal, Brazil, for this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 38, Aldo told MMAJunkie.com that Pettis talks a big game, but rarely delivers in the end:

“Anthony Pettis talks a lot. He goes to the media and says that he’ll fight me in any division, but then he knows that (UFC President) Dana (White) is not going to have him move down a weight because they want me to give up my belt.

Also, I think he’s going to lose to Melendez, so then he’s going to have to move back a little bit, and our time to fight will have gone by. I wasn’t that surprised because the UFC had told me that Pettis would take a while to come back and that with his knee, we didn’t really know when he was going to fight. I was prepared for that possibility.”

Aldo and Pettis were of course scheduled to face off for the featherweight belt at last August’s UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, but another Pettis knee injury forced him to pull out of the bout. “Showtime” then parlayed an unfortunate T.J. Grant concussion in to a title shot against former champ Benson Henderson at UFC 164, and the rest is history. But with Pettis still healing from surgery for a torn PCL and booked solid for the year, Aldo knows he has to move on at this point in time:

“Pettis likes to talk a lot, but he does very little. So for right now, the plan is for me to stay at 145 pounds and defend the belt because obviously Pettis is going to be on TUF.

It was between Cub and Chad, and I already knew that, but they scheduled the fight for Cub. But for me, it doesn’t matter. Both of them earned it. Chad made it back to the top, so he deserves it.

I’m already training, and I’m already thinking about the fight, so it’s up to my trainer, [Andre Pederneiras]. Whenever they decide to put on the fight, I’ll do it.”

It’s beginning to sound like Aldo and his team are growing weary of Pettis talking a big game and failing to sign on to fight, but to be fair, “Scarface” balked at the potential of vacating his long-held featherweight belt to fight for the 155-pound strap.

This fight has been nothing but talk and speculation, and it may never happen. From the look of things, it won’t. After so much teasing, is it time to put talk of this anticipated “super fight” to bed?

Photo: Jason Silva for USA TODAY Sports

  • July, 4th, weekend, fireworks, for, sure

  • Why the fuck should he have to give up his belt when they could do a 150 catchweight superfight or let the dude hold two belts at once to show who the real p4p king is? If one can fluctuate, why not let them?

    • The UFC will NEVER EVER have one fighter be the champ of two divisions at the same time, that would be a stupid decision, especially a terrible business decision. Champs barely fight twice a year now, sometimes one or two may fight 3 times. But if Pettis is champ at both weight divisions, that means those 2 divisions would have to be on hold every time he defended his title, therefore it would be very likely that he'd defend one title only once, and the other twice, and switch it around the following year. That would be holding up two divisions, which would be stupid. But imagine if the Champ got injured & was out for a year, that's two divisions on hold….. NEVER going to happen. The reason Dana wanted Aldo to move up is b/c Aldo said he wanted to, then out of nowhere, Aldo & his camp or manager decide to have a catchweight fight, b/c Aldo doesn't want to lose his blet @ FW. That tells me they're not overly confident Aldo will beat Pettis at LW, therefore he wants to at least keep his FW belt.

      Aldo even said in an interview that he had no interest of fighting Cub or Chad again, which was another point for him to vacate the FW belt & move up. I think Pettis beats Aldo at eighter weight class, b/c he has better cardio. Both have KO power, sick striking, crazy kicks, but Pettis may have a little bit better BJJ & he certainly has better cardio!

  • Also, Pettis seems to be favored more by the UFC for some reason.

  • bullshit the ufc is giving mendes a shot over swanson. Swanson hasnt had a shot at the UFC belt yet while mendes has and just 2 years ago. Swansons wins are way better than chads who cares how much quicker he lost both got KTFO rnd 1

    • Agreed… Swanson didn't even get to show us in that fight if he could hang with aldo. He got caught and it was a wrap. Swanson is a brand new fighter right now.

      • D

        Well if you're going to play the woulda coulda shoulda game…the Aldo's KO of Mendes came after defending about three takedown attempts by blatantly grabbing the fence. Had the ref done his job, Aldo never would have even been able to throw the KO strike because he would have finished the first round on his back.

        As far as Swanson's wins being "way better than Chad's last 5 wins have come against 2 guys outside the top 10, then #12, #9 and #8. Swanson's have come against 3 guys outside the top 10, then #7 and #6. They both have 4 KO/TKO finishes and 1 decision in those 5 fights. Sorry but that's a draw.

        If you want to go back farther, Chad is 11-1 in the WEC/UFC with his only loss to Aldo. Swanson is 10-4, and one of those losses was to Chad.

        • D

          and by top 10 I meant top 15

  • What the hell is Aldo talking about…. first of all Pettis is injured and second he's already booked to fight Gil.. has been for weeks! It makes the most sense for the UFC to put those 2 on TUF. For the simple fact that it would keep the champ "active" while he recovers and needed big names to market the all women TUF. Now Aldo is a big name too but the main reason they probably did not approach him for TUF is the language barrier other than the fact that they seemingly used the TUF coaching spot as leverage to get Gil to sign the contract, THEY wanted to offer him. Aldo sounds a little bit bitter, cause he's pretty much in Limbo after cleaning out his division…. He needs to fight Swanson though!