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Jose Aldo says he's ‘not afraid’ of Anthony Pettis: 'I can fight Cain Velasquez if they want'

Alexandre Loureiro, Inovafoto

UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis called out featherweight champion Jose Aldo following his first-round submission victory over Benson Henderson at UFC 164 in Milwaukee on Saturday.

Immediately after Pettis’ win, Andre Pederneiras, Aldo’s head coach and manager, said they accepted the challenge, but he has one condition.

"I believe now we will see Pettis returning his lightweight belt and moving down to fight Aldo at 145 (pounds)," Pederneiras tweeted in Portuguese. "We’re waiting for Dana’s call to set the fight for the featherweight title, and (waiting for) Pettis to return his lightweight belt."

Pederneiras wants the fight to happen at Aldo’s division, like it was originally planned for UFC 163 on Aug. 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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"The only thing I want is equal rights," he wrote. "We were not the ones who left the fight in Rio, and I want to see (Pettis) make 145. This fight will happen, don’t worry. We just want equal rights to the Brazilians."

Dana White criticized Pederneiras’ requests during the UFC 164 post-fight scrum, saying that the fight could happen at featherweight or lightweight.

"They are going to fight," White said. "I've known Andre for years. But when you come out and make a statement like that, you make it look like (Aldo) is afraid. And that might not be Aldo's same opinion. It makes it look like he's afraid of Anthony Pettis, which already gives Anthony Pettis an advantage."

Jose Aldo responded White’s comments, saying he’s not afraid to fight anyone.

"I can fight Cain Velasquez if they want," Aldo said in an interview to Brazilian TV show Planeta Nocaute on Sunday. "It’s not up to me, I’m not the matchmaker. I want to fight, I’m here to fight. I train everyday to destroy whoever they put in front of me. I’m not scared of anyone. They have two arms and two legs, and I will do my best and win."

Aldo believes White’s comments is part of a game to ignore the fact that he was promised a shot at the lightweight title with a win over Pettis at UFC 163. It would have been Aldo’s second fight in a row against lightweights that had not fought in the 145-pound division before. However, the offer was pulled from the table when Pettis got injured weeks later.

"(Andre) is absolutely right," Aldo said. "They forced us to do something and Andre wants something in return. I agree with everything Andre says, and I can fight anyone. Sometimes Dana says things that you better not pay attention. (Dana) knows he promised us things and he knows he has to give us, so that’s why he says those things. We’ll see what happens."

Speaking on UFC 164’s main event, Aldo praises Pettis’ performance but sees some technical mistakes from the former champion.

"Technically speaking, it was a good fight for Pettis," he said. "He controlled the distance and connected some good kicks. Ben Henderson left his arm there, didn’t know what to do. The champion has to expect everything, needs to be prepared for everything. You can lose in a split second. He left his arm there and the other one got the submission."

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