It seems so easy in practice. Two fighters want to fight eachother, they pick a date, step in the cage, and we all get to watch them duke it out. No muss, no fuss, no hassle… Of course that’s where the business of sport comes in and where a simple statement, made by Dana White, may continue to prove a major sticking point in getting one of the most competitive fights of the year on the books. When asked if Aldo would be vacating his title to take a fight against Anthony Pettis at lightweight, Dana White was quick to chime in that, “He would vacate the title and fight for the title at 55. If he didn’t win the title he could go back to 45 and challenge for the title again if he wanted to do that.”
Apparently that is giving Aldo’s camp pause for consideration and the hope for a potential catchweight fight, in which neither man leaves his belt behind. Andre Pederneiras spoke to SporTV.com about the idea (translation via Fernando Arbex):
“We have to see in which division this fight is going to be. If is it going to be in FW, because he said he would drop, if is it going to be in Pettis’s division, or if they are going to meet in the halfway, at 150, which I think is be best option for both of them because they would keep their belts and make a fight that everyone wants to see. Nobody wants to see who is going to take the belt from the other, everybody wants to watch the fight and the show that they are going to give for all. Aldo would force a bit to go up, Pettis would do the same to go down, so this would be good for everybody”.
“It is going to be a tough fight, but Aldo has all the weapons to beat him. I don’t see advantage for Pettis, even though he is from the division above”.
It’s not an unreasonable stance to take, but it’s a huge step backward from where both fighters seemed to be immediately following Aldo’s most recent defense. Pederneiras’ suggestion of Pettis moving down a full weight class seems like an idea that would almost certainly be off the table, if for no other reason than that the UFC sees more value in the lightweight title. In fact, Pettis’ manager, Mike Roberts, appears to have already scrapped the fight altogether. He spoke to MMA Fighting on Wednesday:
“The way we understand it is that Aldo doesn’t want give up his featherweight title, so fighting Pettis is not an option at this point.
“We’re interested in Anthony defending his belt against the top guys at 155,” Roberts said. “If Aldo doesn’t want to fight for the belt, we’ll fight someone else.”
What do you think? Is this a major wrench in the gears, or will the UFC find a way to make it worth while for Aldo to leave his belt behind for a shot at the 155 lb title?
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