RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jose Aldo is not medically cleared to train yet, and the possibility of creating an interim title won’t make him rush back to the Octagon.
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta admitted earlier this month that the promotion could create an interim title if the featherweight champion from Nova Uniao couldn’t return to the Octagon by October.
"No chance at all," Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras said of the possibility of rushing his rehab to avoid an interim title.
"He’s already felling better. He did some light training Monday and didn’t feel anything. We will decide this week when he’ll be able to train hard again and then we’ll know if he can fight in October. He wants to fight as soon as possible, and it would be great to fight (in Rio) in October, but I don’t know if that will work. It’s too soon to give you an answer about fighting in October."
Pederneiras, who manages and coaches a long list of UFC fighters, doesn’t agree with the promotion’s decision to create an interim belt for the featherweight division.
"The UFC can do anything they want, actually. If they want to create two or three interim titles, they can do it. But I will also ask for an interim title for (Anthony) Pettis, who hasn’t fought since August, and (Cain) Velasquez, who hasn’t fought since October," he said. "I haven’t heard any talks about interim title for those guys, so I don’t see why an interim title for Aldo. It’s unfair. The reason for creating an interim title is time, and Aldo is the one to fight most recently among these three."
Chad Mendes, who was set to fight Aldo for the title on August 2 at UFC 176, questioned his injury, saying he was "running" away from him. Pederneiras also responded to that.
"(Mendes) said Aldo faked an injury the next day the UFC received a call from the athletic commission saying they would be randomly drug tested, but the UFC already knew about his injury 10 days before. We were talking to doctors to see if he could fight," he said.
If the featherweight champion is medically cleared to compete in October, Aldo vs. Mendes is expected to take place at the UFC 179 pay-per-view card in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Oct. 25.