A fight between new UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and featherweight champion Jose Aldo may still be in the works, but how it comes together remains to be seen.
Pettis was scheduled to face Aldo in early August, but a knee injury suffered in training forced him out of the fight. The UFC instead came calling to ask Pettis to fight for the lightweight belt against Benson Henderson at UFC 164 a few weeks later, and on Saturday night he got the job done with a first-round submission victory to win the gold.
After the fight concluded, Pettis took his time on the microphone to ask for a fight against Aldo to finish what they never got to start inside the Octagon.
"Jose Aldo, we've got some unfinished business," Pettis said. "Your belt or my belt."
UFC president Dana White has no doubts in his mind that if he matched up Pettis and Aldo that the new lightweight champion would be willing to take the fight at any weight no matter how they put the fight together.
"You can tell 100 percent Anthony Pettis is willing to go anywhere it takes," White said. "I know that Jose's coach is saying 'well he can come down here to 45' cause they think he'll be at a disadvantage. Whereas I actually think he'd be at a huge advantage at 145.
"Whether Aldo goes to Pettis or Pettis goes to Aldo, they're going to fight. I think you'll see Pettis more willing to go where the fight can happen."
Following Pettis' win over Henderson, Aldo's coach and manager Andre Pederneiras took to Twitter saying that the new lightweight champion should vacate his belt and move down to 145 pounds to fight for the featherweight belt instead (translation by MMAFighting reporter Guilherme Cruz).
Aldo actually said after his last fight against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163 that he was willing to go to lightweight for a new challenge, but his coach is now saying something different when it comes to the fight against Pettis.
White warns Aldo's manager that whether he's intentionally doing so or not, he's making the featherweight king appear scared of Pettis by demanding that he drop to 145 pounds to make the fight happen as opposed to showing willingness to go wherever necessary to get the two fighters in the cage together.
"For his manager to come out, this is what drives me crazy about managers, and I love him, he's a good guy I've known Andre (Pederneiras) for years, but when you come out and make a statement like that you make it look like your guy is afraid of him," White said. "You make it look like Aldo is afraid, and that might not be Aldo's same opinion. It might be his manager saying 'this is what I want to happen here' but it makes it look like he's afraid of Anthony Pettis, which already gives Anthony Pettis an advantage."
Pettis certainly seems willing to go to 145 pounds or welcome Aldo to the lightweight division just to ensure the fight actually takes place.
It's more likely if the UFC does pit the champions together that it would be Aldo moving up in weight to make the fight official, but as of right now the UFC hasn't decided anything on what comes next for either fighter.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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