• UFC news

Aldo refusing to fight Pettis, White threatens champ

ESPN staff
February 24, 2013

Dana White has lifted the lid on a storm that is gathering over one of the UFC's most dominant champions, revealing Jose Aldo is flatly refusing to fight Anthony Pettis.

UFC president White spoke of the planned featherweight title bout at the UFC 157 post-fight press conference, claiming Aldo's team do not believe Pettis deserves the shot.

Pettis has won his last three fights - including a crushing stoppage of Donald Cerrone, but all his work has been done at lightweight. By stepping down, Aldo feels "Showtime" should have to earn his shot.

"Jose Aldo came out and said, 'There's no way in hell I'm fighting Pettis'," White told reporters. "He's absolutely refusing to fight Pettis. Doesn't think he deserves the shot.

"[Andre Pederneiras, Aldo's manager] sat down with me and Lorenzo [Fertitta] and he said, "We don't think he deserves it'.

"I said, 'What do you mean, you don't think he deserves it? Are you out of your f***ing mind? Are you serious? Did you seriously just ask that question?'

"It's like if Aldo wanted to move up to 155, we're going to say he's not the No. 1 contender? What are you talking about?"

Aldo's opinion is even stranger given that he happily accepted a bout with Frankie Edgar in his last outing, despite the fact Edgar had not fought at 145lbs in the UFC and was coming off two losses. White insists the fight will happen, and if it doesn't Aldo may find himself looking at a very bleak future.

"That fight's on," White said. "He's going to fight Pettis or he's not going to like how this is going to turn out."

White's words carry plenty of intrigue during a period when top names are at risk of being cut from the UFC. Welterweight stand-out Jon Fitch was recently released by the organisation, so Aldo may wish to make his next move carefully.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.