Jose Aldo is still interested in a superfight with Anthony Pettis, but the bout will either have to take place at featherweight or a catchweight of 150 pounds.
The MMA community has been buzzing the last few days over Aldo potentially moving up to 155-pounds to challenge Pettis for the UFC lightweight title.
At UFC 169 on Saturday night, Aldo recorded his sixth consecutive UFC featherweight title defense with a decision win over Ricardo Lamas. After the fight, he verbally agreed to a superfight with Pettis at the post-fight press conference.
The two were originally slated to fight at UFC 163 back in August 2013, but Pettis had to pull out of the bout due to a knee injury. An already great fight on paper turned into a superfight when Pettis returned from the injury and defeated Benson Henderson for the lightweight title at UFC 164.
UFC President Dana White explained at the UFC 169 post-fight presser that Aldo would have to vacate the featherweight title if he wanted to move up and challenge Pettis for the lightweight belt. If Aldo lost, he could choose to either remain at lightweight or return back to featherweight and challenge the reigning champ.
However, it would appear that Andre Pederneiras, Aldo’s manager, has different plans.
During an interview with Ta na Area (h/t MMAFighting.com), Pederneiras explained that while Aldo is interested in fighting Pettis, he isn’t necessarily ready to move to the lightweight division:
Now we have to decided in which weight division this fight is going to happen, if Pettis is coming down, like he once said he would do [for UFC 163], but didn’t due to an injury, if Aldo will move up, or if it’s going to be [a catchweight] at 150 pounds.
[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.
It’ll be interesting to see how Pettis’ camp reacts to the notion of a catchweight bout.
There are plenty of contenders already waiting in line for a shot at lightweight gold. Despite being a UFC champion, Pettis has yet to actually defend his throne. Aldo, on the other hand, is already entrenched as the greatest featherweight fighter of all time.
From an outside perspective, it makes little sense for Pettis to hold up an entire division by meeting Aldo in a catchweight bout. If anything, it would seem more likely that Aldo would tack on the extra five pounds and challenge Pettis for the lightweight title. It’s also hard to believe that White would sign off on these terms.
But then again, crazier things have happened.