If you believe what he has told the media over the past 10 days, then we will never see Jose Aldo fight in MMA again.
After speaking to MMA journalists in his native Brazil, outlining that the reason he was calling it a day was that it was always his intention to do so at this point in his career, when asked to elaborate, he rattled off a list of reasons why he doesn't want to be involved in MMA, and the UFC, in particular, any more. We felt that those reasons he listed were awfully hypocritical, but regardless of his intentions, for the moment it seems as though the UFC interim featherweight champ will never fight again.
Anthony Pettis isn't buying it, however.
Pettis was one of the opponents that the UFC asked Aldo to fight while McGregor prepares to take on Eddie Alvarez, and while the Brazilian was upset with that suggestion, "Showtime" is desperate to make it happen having made the cut to the 145lb division.
After halting a three-fight skid back in August that had started with losing the lightweight title to Rafael Dos Anjos and then was followed by another decision loss to the current champ Eddie Alvarez, Pettis sought a change of direction and dropped to featherweight where he was hoping to finally get the crack at Aldo that he had wanted for some time.
Pettis initially wanted to do what Conor McGregor will now have the chance to do at UFC 205, as when he won the lightweight title he immediately called out Jose Aldo, but that bout never happened and it's clear that the fighter from Duke Roufus' gym in Milwaukee feels there is unfinished business, but he also defended McGregor's desire to hold two straps.
I was trying to do that when I was champ. I called out Jose Aldo right after I won the belt at lightweight, it was supposed to happen, it didn't happen for reasons.
I think right now, Conor he's doing his thing. He's a guy that's winning fights, he's knocking guys out, he's fighting guys like Nate Diaz but he's winning fights, what can you say.
When I won the belt, the first thing I said was 'Jose Aldo we have unfinished business.' That was my plan way back when I was the champ. He's selling the tickets, he's selling the fights, he's winning the fights and people want to watch him fight.
A fight between Aldo and Pettis would certainly be interesting. Both made a name for themselves with stunning performances in WEC before claiming UFC titles, and both are names that would look very good near the top of a numbered UFC event.
While McGregor's plan to conquer the world is unquestionably at the expense of Aldo's best interests, if he isn't actually going to retire then the Pettis fight makes most sense, but it's up to the Brazilian if that happens or not because the other side of that proposition is well up for it.
If Jose Aldo wants it, I'm ready to go. I think he's more frustrated than actually trying to retire. I don't think he's going to retire where he's at right now. He obviously wants that (Conor) fight back, Conor's busy, I'm there. I think that's the fight that makes sense for him.
I know he wants to sell pay-per-views and I think my name with his name makes a big fight.
Now we play the waiting game.
Word from Dana White is that Conor will have to defend his 145 belt if he wants to hold onto it, but should he defeat Alvarez and claim the lightweight title too, then it is hard to see him immediately offering Jose Aldo a shot at redemption. Also worth considering is the lack of an upside for Aldo were he to fight Pettis. If he wins, great, where's Conor? But should he lose he would lose any hope he has of removing the "interim" from his title as the 145 champ.
[via Fox Sports]