Jose Aldo Wants Pettis Super Fight at Lightweight
It was a fight we thought we were going to get at featherweight, but an injury forced Anthony Pettis (left) out of a highly anticipated title fight against Jose Aldo (right). Now that Pettis holds UFC gold at 155 lbs., it seems that the 145-lb. champion wants the shot to win his second UFC title.
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
It’s been some time since a super fight was the focus of the MMA world. But recent statements by UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, may bring a superfight to the front of everyone’s mind.
“I give great importance to super fights,” Aldo told MMA Junkie. “Once you are a champion, you are a small part of history, but to win in other weight classes, that’s very rare, like B.J. Penn and Randy Couture. That will always be remembered in the history of the UFC and of MMA itself. When people talk about MMA legends, those two names are brought up because they succeeded in more than one weight class. Whoever wants to be the best, and be recorded in history, it’s necessary to win these super fights.”
Aldo had an opportunity for something close to a super fight this summer when lightweight fighter Anthony Pettis was set to challenge Aldo’s belt. Pettis was injured as the fight drew near, however, and the fight was called off.
But both men would go on to defeat their respective opponents. Aldo fought Chan Sung Jung, best known as ‘The Korean Zombie,’ at UFC 163, defeating the challenger by way of a fourth-round TKO and successfully defended his featherweight title for a fifth time. Pettis would then challenge Benson Henderson’s lightweight title at UFC 164, defeating the champion with an armbar in the first round.
Now, according to Aldo, the stage is set for a true super fight.
“I want it at lightweight,” he said of the potential fight between him and Pettis. “That’s where his belt resides, so I can steal it. It would be better for me since I already have a belt of my own. My belt is already up on the wall at my home.”
This is a change in tune, as UFC President Dana White had earlier accused Aldo’s manager of making the featherweight champion appeared scared by insisting Pettis drop weight to 145 lbs. Now, according to the fighter himself, his eye is on winning a second UFC title.
“Many people like to talk super fights,” he said, “but I see a certain respect, maybe it’s fear, to take on a fight like this. I think it’s a great idea. I think fighting up means that you can prove that you are the best and that you can win in the class above your own. As I see it, if Renan [Barao, current UFC bantamweight interim champion,] fights at featherweight, he would be a great champion. He has the strength and the game to fight at featherweight. Regarding myself, I already faced Frankie Edgar and was able to show that I would be able to fight as a lightweight and become the champion.
“A change in weight has been talked about a lot – me going up in weight; I even requested this. But it has to be at the right moment. ‘Dede’ Pederneiras and Dana White didn’t think it was a good idea, but with every title defense, we are closer to this actually taking place. It’s in their hands. Once they think it’s a good idea for me to go up in weight, then I’m fighting at lightweight, without any problem.”
Of course, that time is not quite yet. Anthony Pettis will be making his first title defense against Josh Thomson on December 14 against Josh Thomson. Additionally, the UFC has already stated its intent to pit top lightweight contender Ricardo Lamas against Aldo for the featherweight champion’s next challenge. That fight is expected to take place sometime early next year. If both men win their next fights, and do so decisively, we could be looking at a super fight sooner rather than later.