Since we first wrote about Jose Aldo‘s refusal to fight Anthony Pettis, the UFC featherweight champion has changed his mind about the matchup — twice, actually. First, Aldo said that he would fight Pettis, but only in a non-title fight:
“Who deserves a chance in the first place, is Ricardo Lamas, because he has beaten Erik Koch, who was the next contender. He earned the chance after the victory,” said Aldo in an interview with TATAME. “Cub Swanson is another too. They are athletes in the division, struggling for a long time for a shot at the belt, which never arrives according to opponents the UFC is scheduling. If the UFC wants a superfight, I do not see any problem. I fight whoever, but the belt has to be against Lamas or Swanson.”
“They created a ranking that is not serving for anything, because they’re pulling people from other divisions. This is only happening on my weight, I see it nowhere else,” Aldo continued, pointing to the UFC’s recent decision to create an official system of sorting their fighters out. “It is an injustice to others.”
Bro, don’t even get us started on the useless goddamned rankings; at least the featherweight champion is concerned about the legitimacy of his division. But there was another twist to this story yesterday — Aldo finally agreed to put his 145-pound title on the line against Pettis at the original August 3rd date, once he was offered an interesting incentive:
Shortly after White confirmed that Aldo had agreed to put his UFC featherweight title on the line against Pettis, Brazilian website Tatame.com spoke with Aldo, who said that his demand was simple. If Pettis, like Frankie Edgar, was granted a title shot in his 145-pound debut, then Aldo wanted a 155-pound title shot in return if he is victorious over that division’s No. 1 contender. White agreed, and the deal was done.
No details on whether or not Aldo would have to vacate the 145-pound belt or even if he would want the move to 155 pounds to be a permanent one have been determined…
With a win over Pettis, Aldo would then face the winner of Benson Henderson vs. Gilbert Melendez on April 20th. And if Pettis wins the featherweight belt…well, I don’t think anybody’s thought that far ahead yet. Let’s just say that there would be a contendership vacuum in the lightweight division, and suddenly, a fight like Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant might actually have “title implications.”