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Andre Pederneiras says he doesn’t think Conor McGregor has confidence in rematch against Jose Aldo

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One of the more interested onlookers for Conor McGregor’s fight at UFC 202 was Jose Aldo, who is patiently waiting for the featherweight champion to return to his division. In the aftermath of McGregor’s memorable victory over Nate Diaz, Aldo tweeted directly to the Irishman, challenging him to a date in New York come November.

"Where you at @TheNotoriousMMA? Come back down and I’ll see you at UFC205 or drop the belt! #hitandrun," he wrote.

Aldo’s longtime coach at Nova Uniao in Rio, Andre Pederneiras, reiterated a version of this sentiment on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, though he wasn’t pinpointing an exact date. One thing he was certain about was his rooting interest in UFC 202. Pederneiras was pulling for McGregor to win the rematch against Diaz.

"For sure, for sure, I prayed for him to win," he told Ariel Helwani. "Now he either goes back to his division and make a match for Aldo…I don’t understand, because one more time he wanted to fight Nate, but not give Aldo an opportunity for another fight. I cannot understand him. Now he says maybe he goes to 155. No, he need to go down and drop his weight down to 145 and give a match to Aldo. He deserves that."

Aldo and McGregor fought to unify the featherweight title at UFC 194 last December, with McGregor scoring a one-punch, 13-second knockout over the longtime featherweight champion. Since then, McGregor has fought back-to-back fights against Diaz at 170 pounds, while Aldo took home the interim title with a decision victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in July.

Though McGregor himself was vocal about doing a trilogy fight with Diaz at lightweight, UFC president Dana White has been insistent that McGregor’s next bout will be at featherweight, where he will defend his title. That would mean a rematch with Aldo to once again unify the belts, this time from different vantage points.

"First of all, I will always believe in Dana," Pederneiras said. "If Dana says it, he needs to go. I don’t think he’s confident to fight Aldo again. He knows that one punch don’t say anything to anybody, if I am better or the other guy’s better."

Asked if he had talked to the UFC about a possible date for the rematch, or even if that was still the current thinking, Pederneiras said that talk is looming.

"I still have to talk with Sean Shelby," he said. "I spoke to him a little after the Conor fight and he asked me to call him next week — I’ll probably call him and Dana next to see what happens in the future."

McGregor’s knockout of Aldo snapped a decade-long win streak for the Brazilian, who was the only featherweight champion the UFC had had to that point. He was also the reigning WEC champion. Yet since losing his belt, Aldo has had to play a waiting game for a rematch while McGregor has fought in other weight classes.

At first McGregor was trying to make history by becoming the UFC’s first ever fight to hold titles in two different weight classes concurrently when he was matched up with Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196. However, a broken foot forced Dos Anjos off the card and made way for Diaz, who then beat McGregor on 11 day’s notice. Now that McGregor has won the rematch, Aldo wants his turn. And according to his coach, it’s McGregor or bust. 

Asked directly if the rematch with McGregor was the only fight he’d take next, unless the UFC forces McGregor to cede the title, he didn’t mince words. 

"Yeah, yeah for sure," he said.