Home MMA News Coach Andre Pederneiras details Jose Aldo's 155-pound title plans, says UFC was...

Coach Andre Pederneiras details Jose Aldo's 155-pound title plans, says UFC was on board


Jose Aldo has always been very clear about his intentions of avenging his loss to Conor McGregor – in whatever division that may be.

However, the somewhat abstract idea has recently started to look very real, with the current featherweight champion announcing his intentions to fight for an interim lightweight title early next year. In light of the turmoil, Aldo’s head coach and manager Andre Pederneiras took the time to explain the logic behind their decisions.

Pederneiras can see why people would have a hard time taking their story at face value. And that’s exactly why he wishes they didn’t have to.

“I think it’s time for the UFC to say something and back up everything we’re saying,” Pederneiras told Brazilian channel Combate, as reported by Combate.com. “It sounds like we’re just saying stuff, but throughout all of this I’ve received messages, e-mails with proposals, everything.

“On our end, Aldo is in no way a liar. I think it’s time for people to know the truth, and that’s the truth. You can ask (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby if there’s a single lie in everything I’m saying.”

Things got interesting earlier this week, when in a tell-all interview with MMAFighting.com, Aldo discussed plans for an interim 155-pound fight in March, hinting that it had been declined by contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) – who has since responded.

While that plan would fall in line with Aldo’s (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) ultimate goal – coming face to face with lightweight champ McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) again – Pederneiras says it came as an alternative only after a planned UFC 208 fight for the 145-pound title against interim champ Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) failed to materialize.

“Our intention was always to defend the belt,” Pederneiras said, before Holloway’s manager posted the graphic explanation behind Holloway’s refusal. “Because a champion who doesn’t defend at least once doesn’t really stamp his championship belt. (Aldo) himself said it: I won my belt, I’ll defend it now – this in a conversation between us – and we’ll go after Conor.

“When Sean Shelby told me the fight wasn’t happening on Feb. 11, I said, ‘Sean, we’re now in a complicated situation. Our plans for this year would be this fight, challenging the No. 1 (lightweight) challenger, which would be Khabib – we want to get the toughest guy in the division, who everyone, say, runs from – and then, after that, Conor, who’s pregnant and will only fight after that.”

The idea between taking on the No.1 contender in the 155-pound division, Pederneiras explained, would be to then remove all doubts of Aldo’s merits should he get past them and move on to fighting McGregor for the undisputed belt.

“Both Sean Shelby and (UFC president) Dana White thought it was a brilliant idea, sensational,” Pederneiras said. “So that Aldo could be at a situation in which there was no way Conor could sit and say, ‘I won’t fight him.’”

Pederneiras then explained that, personally opposed to fighters “cutting in line” for the title when moving to other divisions, Aldo would gladly fight either Nurmagumedov or Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC). But that would involve either of them actually taking the scrap.

“The only request that I have is that, humbly, either Khabib or Ferguson take the fight,” Pederneiras said. “In case both have injury issues that I don’t know of, which I understand, that the fight is directly with Conor, and then it’s not our fault. Our position has always been that we didn’t like it when someone came from a different division and walked straight into a title fight.

“In all of our statements, we’ve always made that very clear when these situations were offered to us. We always took it, but never felt good about that happening.”

Pederneiras says he was assured by White, himself, that Aldo would remain in possession of the 145-title regardless of a lightweight run – much like McGregor himself was able to do before becoming the UFC’s first simultaneous two-division champ.

And he doesn’t think it would bring a division to a halt.

“It wouldn’t stop the (featherweight) division, since we have an interim champion,” Pederneiras said. “Since (Holloway) wouldn’t take the fight because he’s going to Disney (an allusion to Holloway’s post-UFC 206 press conference comments), he can make a fight and defend his interim belt, and Aldo does the fight he wants to do, and, in case he wins, he gets Conor.

“If he gets beat, he’ll fight Holloway, no problem. Everyone is happy. Max Holloway goes to Disney to see Mickey and Goofy, Aldo fights the No.1 challenger, takes away Conor’s possible defeat to Khabib – which is what everyone thinks – and finally he has the rematch with Conor and shows the entire world he’s the true champion.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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