Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis : "This Is a Fight for the Fans"
The UFC wasted no time in deciding that Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis was the fight to make in the featherweight division.
Just two days after the end of UFC 156, where Aldo successfully defended his title against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, the promotion opted to give Anthony Pettis the next crack at the belt after sending UFC President Dana White a text message asking for the opportunity.
Pettis will move down to 145 lbs after earning the next shot at the lightweight title following his blistering performance, knocking out Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone at UFC on Fox 6 in January.
The waiting really was the hardest part for Pettis, who sat out most of 2012 due to shoulder surgery—after a great win to kick off the year, he didn't want to sit out hoping to face the winner of Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez, who battle on April 20 at UFC on Fox 7.
Instead he'll drop weight classes and challenge Aldo in August with high hopes of coming away victorious, then returning to the lightweight division to face either Henderson or Melendez by the end of the year.
According to Pettis' manager Mike Roberts of MMA Inc who spoke to Bleacher Report on Tuesday, the deal to get the fight with Aldo happened in rapid fashion with all parties finally coming to an agreement around 11:30 p.m. PT on Monday night. This was just hours after Pettis spoke to Bleacher Report about his desire to land the featherweight title fight.
It appears the UFC was listening and wanted to make Pettis' dream fight a reality.
Roberts says the UFC was all about putting Pettis in the fight with Aldo, and they expect big returns on the August 3 showdown because this matchup was made specifically for the fans.
"This is a fight for the fans," Roberts told Bleacher Report on Tuesday. "Anthony is all about challenges and what better way to challenge himself than to take a fight like this."
The fight between Pettis and Aldo will be part of a card landing on Saturday, August 3—while the UFC has made no official announcement, it's expected to be a pay-per-view showing.
The week prior to the Aldo vs. Pettis fight is a July 27 card currently scheduled as a UFC on Fox show. The UFC has routinely placed UFC on Fox shows ahead of major pay-per-view cards to help build momentum into those events.
UFC on Fox 6 took place just a week away from UFC 156, and UFC on Fox 7 happens seven days prior to UFC 159 featuring Ultimate Fighter coaches Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen in the main event.
It's unclear at this time where the Aldo and Pettis fight will take place, but several locations are possible. A venue will likely be announced in the coming weeks, along with supporting fights for the card.
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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