Jose Aldo’s Head Trainer Calls For Pettis Bout At 150 Pounds, “Showtime’s” Camp Wants 155 As Planned

Right after the paint dried on UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s one-sided (and some would say lackluster) win over Ricardo Lamas at last weekend’s UFC 169 in Newark, New Jersey, fans and media were quick to clamor for the super fight that everybody wants to see.

And Dana White was quick to promise that Aldo would be moving up to lightweight to face off with Anthony “Showtime” Pettis for the UFC 155-pound strap.

It’s the best fight available for Aldo, and it’s one that nearly went down at last summer’s UFC 163 before Pettis injured his knee and had to withdraw. He capitalized by coming back four weeks later to capture Benson’s Henderson belt. With Aldo having six straight title defenses, the time is ripe for their long-awaited showdown.

But that doesn’t mean everything is set in stone. Speaking to Brazilian TV show Ta Na Area, Nova Uniao head coach Andre Pederneiras detailed his view that the bout should be contested at a catchweight in order to let the two champions keep their respective belts (translated via MMA Mania):

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“(A catchweight) would be interesting for both, they would keep the belts and do the fight everybody wants to see. 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… I always say that the next fight is always the toughest. It’s going to be just like another fight. I think that Aldo has all the weapons to beat Pettis. I don’t see many advantages for Pettis in this match-up.”

Pederneiras may not see many advantages for Pettis in this fight, but if he doesn’t, there’s really no reason for Aldo not to make his long-rumored move up to lightweight and fight “Showtime” for the belt.

At the end of the day, this fight should be contested for a title, and taking that aspect away definitely takes a lot of the luster off an Aldo vs. Pettis showdown. Aldo also has wins over the top five contenders in his division, and while the surging Chad Mendes has arguably done enough to stake his claim at a rematch with “Junior,” it’s highly unlikely that the UFC goes that route.

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White knows where his cash cow is, and it comes in the form of this anticipated match. It was previously thought that the bout was definitely going to happen this year provided Pettis’ rehab from a torn PCL goes off without a hitch and he can return sometime in mid-to-late summer, but now things are a bit up in the air.

When presented with the news about Pederneiras wanting a catchweight, Pettis’ manager Mike Roberts told MMA Fighting the following:

“It’s not an option that was given to us. The UFC] wants the fight at 155 pounds. The way we understand it is that Aldo doesn’t want give up his featherweight title, so fighting Pettis is not an option at this point. We’re interested in Anthony defending his belt against the top guys at 155. If Aldo doesn’t want to fight for the belt, we’ll fight someone else.”

If the fight doesn’t happen because of disagreements between the two camps, the UFC will be cheated out of one of its most desired bouts. While Aldo has cleaned out the top of his division, Pettis certainly hasn’t. He was set to defend it for the first time against Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 9 but got hurt again, continuing an unfortunate trend.

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There are a few lightweight challengers, like T.J. Grant and Gilbert Melendez, who may think that Pettis getting involved in a yearlong feud with Aldo would be holding up the 155-pound division too much. And they may have a point, as it will likely be an entire year between Pettis’ title win and his first defense.

MMA fans everywhere are going to watch the bout no matter what. However, won’t it be a lot more fun if a title is at stake? What do you think? Does this bout being contested at a catchweight remove some (or a lot) of the hype?

Photo: Joe Camporeale for USA TODAY Sports