José Aldo Likely Vacating Belt to Challenge Anthony Pettis for UFC Lightweight Title

February 2, 2014

Jose-Aldo-and-Anthony-Pettis-478x270UFC president Dana White, featherweight champion José Aldo, and lightweight champion Anthony Pettis all see eye to eye and are aiming to make a super-fight.

Aldo and White said at Saturday’s UFC 169 post-fight press conference that a fight between the two divisional champions is the fight they want to make next, with White saying Pettis has agreed to the proposed match-up.

“So Anthony Pettis just called,” White said. “He said he absolutely, 100-percent wants the Aldo fight and he’ll take it.”

Aldo completed a mostly one-sided performance with his win over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169. His display of dominant striking techniques, combined with his previous outstanding performances in the 145-pound division give most the indication that a style match-up with Pettis would be an easy sell for the UFC.

Aldo said he would fight Pettis immediately if given the opportunity.

“I’m ready. I’ve always been ready. I want the fight. Everybody wants the fight,” he said. “If the fight was tonight, I would fight him. It’s up to the UFC and Dana.

“We’re ready to fight, so let’s get this fight.”

Pettis is currently sidelined with an injured knee and his return to fighting won’t take place any time before the second half of 2014. Upon the lightweight champ’s return, White and company desire a tilt between him and Aldo, which White described as something that “doesn’t suck.”

“I’ve been talking about that fight. I like that fight. I like Jose at 155,” White said. “I think the weight cut’s much easier for him. But again, I’ll throw it back at him. At the end of the day, if he wants, he’s the king at 145. If he wants to move to 155, I think it’s a huge fight with Pettis. It doesn’t suck.”

While a champion-versus-champion UFC super-fight has been done in the past, White said that wouldn’t be the case with Aldo and Pettis. Aldo would relinquish his, allowing for a vacant 145-pound title fight two other featherweights. If lightweight doesn’t end up being a favorable stay for Aldo, White said the fighter is free to drop right back down to the weight class that he’s dominated for several years.

“He’ll vacate the title, move up to 155, and fight for the title,” White said of Aldo. “If he doesn’t win the title at 155, he can go back and challenge for the 145-pound title if he wanted to do that, or if he wins the 155-pound title and two other guys would fight for the 145-pound title.”

Most of the MMA world was excited about the news of a potential super-fight, with the exception of one guy: Benson Henderson.

The former lightweight champion recently won a controversial split decision over Josh Thomson at the last UFC on FOX event, but didn’t do enough to convince White and UFC brass that he deserved a shot at the title.

In a cryptic tweet, Henderson seemingly wasn’t happy about the news, letting his feelings be known on Twitter.

“U gotta be kidding me?!…my mama taught me to be a better man n keep my mouth shut if I don’t have anything nice to say, I’m out #UFC169,” Henderson wrote.

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