Throughout the course of this week, interim UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway revealed that an ankle injury will keep him from fighting Jose Aldo for the undisputed featherweight title at UFC 208 in February. Following that, recently promoted UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo revealed that he was in negotiations with the UFC to fight for the interim lightweight title. With that being said, Aldo also revealed that Khabib Nurmagomedov had turned down the fight, due to pursuing a fight with Tony Ferguson.
While there has been no word from the UFC yet on the matter, Jose Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneieras, is now calling for the UFC to back up Aldo’s claims of moving up and challenging for an interim lightweight title.
He spoke to Combate, saying:
“I think it’s time for the UFC to say something and back up everything we’re saying,” Pederneiras told Brazilian channel Combate, as reported by Combate.com. “It sounds like we’re just saying stuff, but throughout all of this I’ve received messages, e-mails with proposals, everything.”
“On our end, Aldo is in no way a liar. I think it’s time for people to know the truth, and that’s the truth. You can ask (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby if there’s a single lie in everything I’m saying.”
“Our intention was always to defend the belt,” Pederneiras said, before Holloway’s manager posted the graphic explanation behind Holloway’s refusal. “Because a champion who doesn’t defend at least once doesn’t really stamp his championship belt. (Aldo) himself said it: I won my belt, I’ll defend it now – this in a conversation between us – and we’ll go after Conor.
“When Sean Shelby told me the fight wasn’t happening on Feb. 11, I said, ‘Sean, we’re now in a complicated situation. Our plans for this year would be this fight, challenging the No. 1 (lightweight) challenger, which would be Khabib – we want to get the toughest guy in the division, who everyone, say, runs from – and then, after that, Conor, who’s pregnant and will only fight after that.”
Only time will tell if Aldo is given the opportunity to fight for the interim featherweight title, or if the UFC is using the potential fight as a negotiation tactic when dealing with Tony Ferguson.