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Jose Aldo Is Now ‘Absolutely Refusing’ Anthony Pettis Fight; UFC President Threatens Consequences If Aldo Doesn’t Go Through With It

(Photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports)

If there’s one thing that makes Dana White‘s head spin — besides Meniere’s Disease, obviously — it’s UFC champions who turn down fights. So you can imagine how he felt when Jose Aldo‘s manager recently approached the UFC president to explain that his client didn’t want to fight Anthony Pettis after all. The Aldo vs. Pettis featherweight title fight had already been confirmed earlier this month, and is scheduled to go down on August 3rd. Here’s Dana explaining the situation to media following UFC 157:

“Jose Aldo came out and said, ‘There’s no way in hell I’m fighting Pettis. He’s absolutely refusing to fight Pettis — doesn’t think he deserves the shot.

“Andre Pederneiras was in England and he sat down with me and Lorenzo (Fertitta) and was like, ‘We don’t think he deserves it.’ “What do you mean you don’t think he deserves it? ‘Well, he might be the No. 1 guy at 155, but how does that make him the No. 1 guy (at 145)?’ Are you out of your f—ing mind? Are you serious? Did you seriously just ask me that question? It’s like if Aldo wanted to move up to 155, are we going to say he’s not the No. 1 contender? What are you talking about?…

“F—in’ right, [Aldo] is gonna fight Pettis. That fight’s on. He’s going to fight Pettis, or he’s not going to like how this is going to turn out.”

As we’ve seen over and over again in the UFC lately, “deserve” ain’t got nothing to do with it when you’re talking about title shots. With its event schedule growing more and more frantic — requiring more big fights to fill main event slots — the UFC now awards title shots based on the best available option at a specific moment, rather than waiting for the ideal matchup to come together. And so, we’ve got upcoming title challengers who have already gotten their asses kicked by the reigning champ (see: Bigfoot, Machida), title challengers who jumped up from lighter weight classes after falling short in their own divisions (see: Belfort, Sonnen), title challengers who are coming off a loss and a suspension (see: Diaz), title challengers who were champions in other organizations but have yet to make their UFC debuts (see: Melendez), and title challengers who weren’t even champions in other organizations, but hell, the champ’s gotta fight somebody, right? (see: Carmouche)

Maybe Anthony Pettis isn’t a former UFC champion like Frankie Edgar was, but compared to most of the other people I just mentioned, he’s pretty damn worthy of the opportunity. And if Aldo and his camp can’t wrap their heads around the current reality of the UFC, then they deserve whatever happens to them.

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oc in this bitch- February 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm
lol @ afraid to lose his belt. ur a clown guy.hes devastated everyone and nobodys even came close.can anyone tell me how pettis would be #1 contender at any class other then what hes fought in?seems kinda silly doesnt it?ur a contender at ur weight class u cant drop weight and jump in front of guys who have been beating guys at that weight and u never have.pettis is a whiney baby and aldo will smoke him tough.
Japanadian- February 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm
the only options at 145lbs. ricardo lamas, cub swanson, korean zombie and frankie edgar are the only possible title challengers. Frankie had a chance, Cub lost to both ricardo and aldo. K Zombie hasn't fought true challenges. Ricardo hasn't beat anyone of worth... maybe koch or swanson i guess count. so that leaves us with...... Anthony Pettis
Mr_Misanthropy- February 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm
@ Billie

It's OK. You can say fuck here all you want.

Billytk- February 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm
I don't really care about this what I want to know is why the F is Pettis still getting F'd out of his LW title shot against Bendo
Walrus- February 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Maybe Aldo realized that competition has been getting significantly more fierce after having quite a battle with Frankie Edgar.

None the less, the job of a champion is to take on all comers. Just by thinking he has an option on who he fights is faulty.
The Oracle of MMA- February 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm
I agree with RNS. Why doesn't Dana treat Silva like this? Yes I know he's bigger money etc. but how can Dana justify his position with Aldo when he's set a precedent with pussy footing around Silva? He kisses one champ's ass while lifting dick and slapping balls of another champ.
Mr_Misanthropy- February 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm
Pettis is bigger and he also said he has no intention of staying at featherweight to defend the belt. Why should he be allowed to cherry pick his fight schedule? The only reason he is moving down is because he's stuck behind Melendez. It's a good fight and I want to see it but to act like there is no validity to Aldo's (probably more Pederiernas) argument is not totally legitimate. I think Aldo should fight whoever is put in front of him but at the same time a champ shouldn't be mandated to put his belt on the line to fight a bigger guy who has no interest in defending the belt just for the sake of novelty.
RearNakedSpoon- February 25, 2013 at 11:51 am
Why does he talk to Aldo like this but not Silva?
Fried Taco- February 25, 2013 at 10:20 am
Say the fight is booked, it's the day before and Pettis fails to make weight. Imagine the shitstorm that would create! Shouldn't the UFC at least make them fight once in the lower weight class to ensure they can make weight before letting them fight the champ?
angry little feet- February 25, 2013 at 10:08 am
Oh so Jose doesn't want to fight Pettis now? Tough Shit! Since when the hell did the UFC become a democracy?
crappiefloper- February 25, 2013 at 9:45 am
He don't have to fight him. He also doesn't have to cash a check with Dana's signature on it either. The work had shown,again and again, that anybody is expendable and exploitable. Welcome to life kid. Fighters the world over need to remember that no matter how marketable and business savy they are, ultimately, their a fucking fighter. Shut the fuck up and fight
Mr Jeff 1- February 25, 2013 at 9:25 am
aldo is a big pussy and is afraid of loosing his title, and he will. PUSSY
towelie- February 25, 2013 at 9:23 am
didn't he already OK this fight? even if not, this fight sounds exciting as heck. DO it. DO IT.
jcv1986- February 25, 2013 at 9:23 am
Aldo just doesn't want to lose the belt.A champion should have to fight who ever they put in for front of him. Champions should not b a able to pick and choose who they should fight. A real champion fights whoever, where ever. Fuck maybe it will b a real test . Someone who is equal or better. Don't be scared homie ........ Lets go show time.
The12ozCurls- February 25, 2013 at 8:48 am
Aldo comes off looking scared no matter which way you look at it. And - to be perfectly honest - he should be scared of Anthony Pettis.
danomite- February 25, 2013 at 8:14 am
Pettis deserves the shot more than anybody else, including guys at 145 lbs. Ricardo Lamas is the guy at 145 that people are saying should get the next title shot right? Why? because he's got a win streak going at featherweight? Pettis has a win streak against better fighters in a deeper division at a heavier weight class. He's the number 1 contender at lightweight and he beat the current lightweight champion for christ's sake. There's no way aldo can look at that resume and say he doesn't deserve a shot. Maybe he is just trying to negotiate, or maybe he is afraid of pettis. Either way, these statements make him look like a giant pussy.
dude- February 25, 2013 at 7:54 am
Was it Anderson Silva who said he'd be afraid to fight himself, or something like that? Flying knees, off the cage kicks and punches, freakish athletísism...Pettis's style is very similar to Aldo's, and Aldo knows that the only way he'd risk losing his title is if he fought himself. This is a fight we all want to see, because it'll be exactly that, a FIGHT
mookiestick- February 25, 2013 at 7:25 am
I hate those goddamn fucking Brazilians. Pettis kick his ass…
bgoldstein- February 25, 2013 at 6:47 am
@hGeorge: Thanks for the catch, I meant "UFC champion"
hGeorge- February 25, 2013 at 6:39 am
"Maybe Anthony Pettis isn’t a former champion"..yes he was
Walrus- February 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Not in the UFC. Don't act like you are unaware of what he is getting at.
algiersheadkick504- February 25, 2013 at 6:35 am
The fans wanna see it aldo...the fans...