There may be challengers lining up in the featherweight division for champion Jose Aldo, but UFC president Dana White believes Anthony Pettis is the most exciting option of them all.
The newly crowned lightweight champion was originally slated to face the Brazilian phenom back on Aug. 3 at UFC 163, but a knee injury forced the 26-year-old out of the bout. The possibility of Aldo vs. Pettis scrap came front and center once again on Saturday night, when the Duke Roufus-trained fighter used his post-title-winning microphone time to call out the 145-pound champion.
In addition to Pettis making a bid for a bout with Aldo, a handful of featherweight contenders have also thrown their hats into the ring. Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson are all jockeying for the next title shot, but White believes "Showtime" is the best possible option.
"It is 100 percent Anthony Pettis," White told the media during the post-fight scrum in Milwaukee. "That is a sick fight."
Whether the proposed fight would take place at lightweight or in the weight class that Aldo has dominated for the past four years remains to be seen, but the UFC head honcho believes the newly minted 155-pound champion would be willing to go to whatever weight class necessary to make the fight a reality.
"Here's the thing," White continued. "You can tell 100 percent Anthony Pettis is willing to go anywhere it takes. I know that Jose's coach is saying he can go down to 145 pounds because they think he'll be at a disadvantage, whereas I think he'd actually be at a huge advantage at 145. He's big and strong, but either way, whether Aldo goes to Pettis, or Pettis goes to Aldo...they are gonna fight. It doesn't matter, but I think you'll see Pettis more willing to go where the fight will happen."
Following the bout against Benson Henderson on Saturday night, it was revealed Pettis had suffered an injury to the opposite knee during the title tilt, and it is unclear at the present time how much time the champion will need to recover.
For his part, Aldo is also recovering from injuries suffered during his successful title defense against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163, and no plans have been announced for his next bout.
Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.