UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo was hesitant to accept a bout with current challenge Anthony Pettis when initially approached about the tilt. Though Aldo had no problem with taking on an opponent possessing Pettis’ abilities, his concern came from the fact the match-up will mark his adversary’s divisional debut.
A few months later and Aldo is still sore about the situation. However, he’s decided to play by the rules of the game even if he doesn’t necessarily agree with them.
“I don’t think it’s fair. I think if you’re going to drop down, then prove yourself by first having great fights within the weight class, and then you’ve earned the right to fight for the belt. That’s how I think,” explained Aldo in a conversation captured by MMAJunkie. “But since we’re already booked, no problem. I’ll just go and win that fight.”
“If everyone is cutting in line, I might as well do the same thing,” he continued. “I’d like to move up one division and have an immediate title shot. We took the Pettis fight with this in mind…We put that in (the contract). It’s black and white. When we accepted the Pettis fight, we brought that up right away. Since everyone wants to cut into our line, let’s cut into theirs too.”
As a large 145er who cuts a good deal of weight, Aldo has been eying the lightweight division since his time in WEC but left the ultimate decision up to his coaches. A win over Pettis would improve his record to 23-1, adding “Showtime” to a list of fallen foes already featuring Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, and Frankie Edgar.
Aldo-Pettis are scheduled to headline UFC 163. The card is set to unfold in Rio de Janeiro on August 3.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports