Morning Report: Jose Aldo agrees Anthony Pettis is 'cutting in line,' intends to challenge for lightweight belt with win

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Let's be honest with each other for a second. The UFC featherweight division is kind of a mess. Don't get me wrong, Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis is a monster fight. Two world class, hyper-athletic, insanely creative martial artists locked inside a cage for 25 minutes. I'm all for that.

But like Chan Sung Jung mentioned last week, and Ricardo Lamas voiced prior, the bout doesn't really make much sense in the grand scheme of things. And now you can add Aldo to the list of dissenters.

"There are already various contenders within the weight class. If someone just shows up and immediately challenges for the belt, he's cutting in line, and everyone sees that," Aldo told MMA Junkie.

"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. But since we're already booked, no problem. I'll just go and win that fight."

Aldo's sentiment is a tad surprising considering his previous enthusiasm towards both the Pettis booking and the similar situation regarding Frankie Edgar at UFC 156. But even more surprising -- and potentially damaging to the division -- is the fact that all of the drama has led Aldo to make a swift decision about his future.

"If everyone is cutting in line, I might as well do the same thing," Aldo declared. "I'd like to move up one division and have an immediate title shot. We took the Pettis fight with this in mind.

"It's [set]. Exactly. 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."

So for those scoring at home, regardless of whether Aldo or Pettis wins the UFC featherweight title at UFC 163, either man is going to want to move up to lightweight as soon as possible. Yeah, I don't get it either.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Aldo wants 155-pound title. UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo discussed his future intentions if he defeats Anthony Pettis at UFC 163. "If everyone is cutting in line, I might as well do the same thing," Aldo told MMA Junkie. "... I'd like to move up one division and have an immediate title shot. We took the Pettis fight with this in mind. It's [set]. Exactly. We put that in (the contract). It's black and white."

Diaz update. Nick Diaz's legal representative, Jonathan Tweedale, discussed the genesis of Diaz's new promotion WAR MMA and what it would take for Stockton's favorite son to come out of retirement.

The MMA Hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour are back in your life with another jam-packed episode featuring Rampage Jackson, Pat Barry, Tyron Woodley, Eddie Wineland, Sean McCorkle, Ray Sefo and Nick Diaz's legal representative Jonathan Tweedale.

Saffiedine injury timetable. Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine expects to return to training within four to six weeks without undergoing surgery, according to a post on his Facebook page.

Sefo is back. Ray Sefo, president of WSOF, announced intentions to return to the cage and fight at his promotion's next event, WSOF 4, on August 10, 2013.

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MEDIA STEW

Yesterday's EA UFC trailer from E3, in case you missed it:

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The ultimate question: Matt Brown comes looking for you. What do you do?

Props to @Steve9418 for the find.

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Since Dana White was the one who brought up money, Jon Fitch figured he should respond.

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If you didn't see Brendan Schaub's bizarre match against Roberto "Cyborg" Abreu at Metamoris 2, take a quick look at what you missed. (Here's the actual match if you want to relive it for some weird reason I can't fully understand.)

(HT: Reddit)

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So Mark Hunt has a really gruesome staph infection on his left leg. Don't say I didn't warn you.

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Chose between knockout or submission, you say? Why can't we have both?

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Well this is a Morning Report first. Jake Shields, Aaron Simpson and Georgi Karakhanyan are fighters in a new video game created by PETA. Seriously. You can play it below.

(HT: MMA Mania)

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EARLY FACEOFF

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NEW HORIZONS

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A MESSAGE FROM MR. MOUSASI

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PERFECT

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, June 10, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day is a bit of clever reporting by erikmagraken: Will 12-6 Elbow Strikes Be Legal at UFC 161?

UFC 161 will be governed by Manitoba's Boxing Regulation.

As it presently reads, this regulation does not blindly adopt the Unified Rules but instead has its own list of fouls. While there is nothing controversial about this, one well-established foul that is not adopted by Manitoba is the 12-6 "downward pointing elbow strike" ban. (Scroll down to regulation 91.20 for Manitoba's full list of fouls)

UFC fans will remember the ban of these elbow strikes are responsible for the only blemish on Jon Jones' MMA record. So the question is, will this technique be allowed at UFC 161?

I reached out to Manitoba's Sport Secretariat Joel Fingard for clarity. The answer is no. Despite the Regulations on the books, I'm told that the MCSC has internally adopted the Unified Rules and these will be in play for UFC 161. Why isn't this rule change reflected officially on the Regulations? It is intended to be and I am advised that a formal amendment to the Manitoba Boxing Regulation is in the works. Now that Bill S-209 is on the books and Provinces have clarity Manitoba is ready to overhaul their MMA laws without the need to fit the sport into the ‘boxing' category. Joel provides the following sensible explanation:

"We have adopted the ABC Unified rules as a whole however when re removed banned elbow strikes we had not replaced it with the downward elbows foul. We were waiting for S-209 to pass so we could rewrite the Regs to reflect the sports that are now recognized and no longer describe mma as a form of boxing. We anticipate this to be completed this summer.

I appreciate you taking the time to point the absence of this foul from the list out to us."

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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