Anthony Pettis isn't even scheduled to face Jose Aldo, and still the barbs are flying between their respective camps.
Aldo's long-time coach Andre Pederneiras told Brazilian radio show Mundo da Luta (via Guilherme Cruz of mmafighting.com) on Sunday afternoon that he believed Pettis faked the recent injury that forced him out of the UFC 163 title fight with Aldo. Chan Sung Jung took Pettis' place in the fight and lost by TKO shortly after dislocating his shoulder in the fourth round of the fight.
"In my opinion, [Pettis] never got hurt. He realized he’d never make weight, that it wasn’t as easy as he thought it would be."
Pettis fired back at Pederneiras through his jiu-jitsu coach Diego Moraes on Monday morning:
"It’s stupid of him to say something like that. It was a dream fight for me. My injury was real and the UFC took me from the fight."
Pettis also went on to say that he plans on winning his next fight and then moving down to 145 pounds for the clash with Aldo.
The only problem with that scenario? Aldo has long discussed a move up to lightweight but has always deferred to his coaches and UFC brass to make the decision. Following Saturday night's win, however, he was a bit more optimistic:
"I don't know, I would love it, but this is with Joe Silva," Aldo told Fuel TV. "If he gives me the opportunity, I would go there and fight."
A year ago, the idea of Aldo abandoning his championship belt and moving up for new challenges felt like a good one. Today, Aldo has more challengers than ever: Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson, Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar all remain close to contention.
Sure, Aldo has already defeated three of those four names. But Swanson is a much different fighter than the one who was decimated by an Aldo double flying knee back in the WEC days, and Mendes is on a three-fight win streak since Aldo beat him in early 2012.
You can add Pettis' name to that list, provided he beats Henderson at UFC 164 later this month. That's a tall order, of course. But if anyone can beat Henderson and Aldo in consecutive fights, it's "Showtime."