Despite initial resistance from the featherweight champion, it’s now been confirmed that Jose Aldo will defend his title against Anthony Pettis next.
The fight will go down at an event on August 3rd, but there’s no word on where the bout will take place yet.
Aldo is currently undefeated in the UFC with a perfect 4-0 record so far and overall is on a fifteen fight winning streak that spans back seven years.
Meanwhile Pettis is 3-1 in the UFC, but does hold the distinction of being the WEC’s last ever lightweight champion after defeating current UFC 155lb title holder Ben Henderson in the promotion’s last ever event in December of 2010
Dana White had revealed at the weekend that Aldo had refused to fight Pettis saying the current lightweight fighter hadn’t earned the opportunity and that a top 145lb contender like Ricard Lamas or Cub Swanson should be given the opportunity instead.
The UFC president didn’t take kindly to that however and was adamant that the fight would still go ahead and sent a veiled threat in Aldo’s direction, stating that he wouldn’t like what would happen if he didn’t accept the bout.
Despite that warning it appears that wasn’t what convinced Aldo to take the fight. Instead, the Brazilian issued a counter-demand that he wanted an immediate title shot at the lightweight title if he defeats Pettis, and it seems that the UFC have agreed.
So that certainly sets the cat amongst the pigeons for both divisions if Aldo does indeed get the victory.
I’m presuming that Aldo would vacate his current title and my guess is that at 145lbs the UFC will now look to pair up either Lamas or Swanson with Frankie Edgar with a view to the winner taking on the winner of April 20th’s Clay Guida Vs Chad Mendes fight to establish a new featherweight champion if that is what proves to be required.
Timing wise it’s going to be interesting to see what happens at 155lbs though since it’s probably going to be the end of the year before Aldo would be ready to fight the lightweight champion.
A title fight between Ben Henderson and Gilbert Melendez is already set for April and either of those two opponents would be a dream fight against Aldo so my feeling is the UFC may look to put the winner on ice until Aldo’s ready.
This is all assuming that Aldo wins of course, and to be honest even if Pettis wins it would still have major implications. Would he stay and defend the featherweight title, or would he be looking for an immediate title shot back at lightweight? What would Aldo do if he lost?
Whatever happens it’s safe to say that this is going to be a must-see fight this summer.