The wheels are now in motion for a superfight between current featherweight champion Jose Aldo and lightweight title holder Anthony later this year.
The fight was practically arranged in front of our eyes during the UFC 169 post-fight press conference last night less than an hour after Aldo earned his sixth successful title defense at 145lbs with a unanimous decision victory over Ricardo Lamas.
There has been interest in having Aldo move up to fight for the lightweight belt for some time, and when he was asked about it yesterday he made it clear he’d take that opportunity if it was presented to him.
“It’s not me, it’s about Dana,” Aldo said. “I’m ready, I’ve always been ready, I want that fight, everybody wants the fight. If the fight was tonight, I would fight him so it’s up to the UFC and Dana,” Aldo said after his sixth consecutive title defense at UFC 169 Saturday night in Newark, N.J.
“I want the fight, Pettis wants the fight, the fans want the fight. So why not? We are ready to fight so let’s get the fight.”
“Sounds like we’ve got a fight,” White said after hearing that, jokingly commenting, “That was easy, we got that deal done. One more thing I don’t have to do on Monday.”
However, the fight then took another step closer to become reality when moments later Anthony Pettis contacted the UFC to give his input to the conversation.
“Anthony Pettis just called — he said he absolutely, 100-percent wants the Aldo fight and he’ll take it. So there you go,” White told the assembled media.
So, at this stage it looks like the fight is practically a done-deal, but don’t count on it just yet as the immediate aftermath of a fight when emotions are running high isn’t always the best time to lock down this kind of thing. For instance, Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson essentially agreed to a rematch after their highly competitive title scrap last year, only for Jones to change his mind a few days later.
It’s also highly unusual for the UFC to entertain the idea of a superfight when one of the champions, in this case Pettis, hasn’t even had a chance to defend his title yet.
With stars like Anderson Silva and GSP out of action for one reason or another in the year ahead the UFC will be eager to find ways to put together fights that are going to generate a buzz amongst fans though, so that could fuel their interest in having this particular bout between two of the sport’s best strikers take place sooner rather than later.