UFC president Dana White thinks that featherweight champion Jose Aldo is not getting a fair shake with the way his manager Andre Pederneiras is handling a potential bout with Anthony Pettis.
Pettis won the lightweight championship in stunning fashion this weekend, but before that, he was set to cut weight and fight Aldo at UFC 163. Even with a new belt around his waist though, Pettis is still interested in a cross-divisional “super fight” with Aldo.
In response, Pederneiras demanded that Pettis drop a weight class to fight Aldo at 145, rather than at a catch weight.
“Here’s the thing,” White said. “You can tell 100 percent Anthony Pettis is willing to go wherever it takes. I know that Jose’s coach is saying, ‘Bro, he can come down here at 145.’ Because they think [Pettis would] be at a disadvantage whereas I actually think he’d be at a huge advantage at 145. He’s big, strong.”
“I mean, for his manager to come out, this is what drives me crazy about managers,” White continued. “I love him. He’s a good guy. I’ve known Andre for years. But when you come out and make a statement like that, you make it look like your guy is afraid of him. You make it look like Aldo is afraid. And that might not be Aldo’s same opinion. It might be his manager saying, ‘This is what I want to happen here.’ But it makes it look like he’s afraid of Anthony Pettis, which already gives Anthony Pettis an advantage.”
Riding high off of his recent win though, Pettis seems to be happy to go with whatever happens.
“I’m here to make the good fights happen,” he said. “I’m here to prove I’m the best in the world anywhere around my weight class. Whatever happens, happens.”
Jose Aldo is currently 23-1, dominating his division with a 16 fight winning streak since returning to the featherweight division in 2006. He won the WEC Featherweight Championship three years later, and has defended it five times since it was incorporated into the UFC.
Anthony Pettis meanwhile broke Benson Henderson’s reign with a devastating armbar this weekend, becoming the new UFC Lightweight Champion. He is currently 17-2.