ANAHEIM, Calif. -- At the UFC 156 postfight press conference in Las Vegas on Feb. 2, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo Jr., fresh off an exciting victory over former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, said he thought a potential fight with Anthony Pettis sounded interesting.
Since, then, though, Aldo has apparently changed his mind. According to UFC president Dana White, Aldo has balked at the notion of defending his title against the former WEC lightweight champion.
"Jose Aldo came out and said ‘There's no way in hell I'm fighting Pettis,'" White told reporters following the UFC 157 post-fight press conference at the Honda Center. "He's absolutely refusing to fight Pettis. Doesn't think he deserves the shot."
According to White, Aldo's manager, Andre Pederneiras, met with White and Lorenzo Feritta last week in London and said his fighter won't take a bout with Pettis.
"He sat down with me and Lorenzo and he said "we don't think he deserves it," White said. ‘I said ‘What do you mean, you don't think he deserves it?' I said ‘Are you out of your f--- mind? Are you serious, did you seriously just ask that question?' It's like if Aldo wanted to move up to 155, we're going to say he's not the No. 1 contender? What are you talking about?"
A planned Aldo-Pettis fight has drawn quite a bit of reaction from MMA fans, both pro and con. On one hand, purists don't believe Pettis, winner of three straight fights and seven of his past eight, should be granted an immediate shot at the champion of another weight class. On the other, the bout from a stylistic standpoint looks to be a potential thriller, at a time when there's no clear-cut number-one contender at featherweight for Aldo, who hasn't lost since 2005.
White's in the latter camp, and he insists he'll get his way in the end.
"That's fight's on," White said. "He's going to fight Pettis or he's not going to like how this is going to turn out."
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