White: Manager making Jose Aldo look scared of fellow UFC champ Anthony Pettis
UFC President Dana White truly likes Andre Pederneiras. But when it comes to UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, White believes the veteran MMA manager is making his client look scared.
Specifically, he thinks Pederneiras is approaching a bout between Aldo and newly crowned UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis all wrong.
"Here's the thing," White said of Pederneiras, who was an honorable mention in MMAjunkie.com's special publication, "The 25 Most Powerful People in MMA." "You can tell 100 percent Anthony Pettis is willing to go wherever it takes. I know that Jose's coach is saying, 'Bro, he can come down here at 145.' Because they think [Pettis would] be at a disadvantage whereas I actually think he'd be at a huge advantage at 145. He's big, strong.
" ... I mean, for his manager to come out, this is what drives me crazy about managers. I love him. He's a good guy. I've known Andre for years. But when you come out and make a statement like that, you make it look like your guy is afraid of him. You make it look like Aldo is afraid. And that might not be Aldo's same opinion. It might be his manager saying, 'This is what I want to happen here.' But it makes it look like he's afraid of Anthony Pettis, which already gives Anthony Pettis an advantage."
Sure, if you want to fight the champ, you should be willing to go to his weight class. After all, Aldo has won 16 consecutive fights with seven consecutive WEC/UFC title defenses. He's the No. 1 fighter at featherweight and also No. 4 pound-for-pound in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA featherweight rankings.
However, Aldo and Pettis both now have a belt wrapped around their waist, so White believes Aldo and Co. need to realize they're no longer in the driver's seat when it comes to a potential bout.
As for Pettis, who doesn't know the extent of a knee injury he suffered on Saturday, he's not making demands and is willing to fight in either division, or even in the middle.
"I'm here to make the good fights happen," he said. "I'm here to prove I'm the best in the world anywhere around my weight class. Whatever happens, happens."
White, too, isn't sure what weight the fight would take place at. However, he said he doesn't anticipate a scenario in which one fighter would hold both belts, though he didn't completely count out that possibility.
"That wouldn't be the case," he said. "I don't know. Who knows? Like I said, this fight happened 45 minutes ago. I'm not even thinking about that right now."
With Aldo, Grant possible, Pettis knee injury leaves post-UFC 164 move unclear
"I don't know what's going to happen," White said. "No sense in even talking about another fight right now."
With Pettis' victory over Henderson, Grant might have seemed to be his next logical fight. But the new champ told UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he wanted Aldo.
"We have unfinished business," said Pettis, who didn't mention his knee during his post-fight interview.
At the post-event press conference, Pettis said an MRI would determine what's next for him.
"I'm not sure yet," he said. "Henderson threw a kick and I went to check with my left leg, and he hit right in the crook of the knee, so I felt it go back and forth.
"So I don't know what happened. I stepped on it, and it was hurting a little bit, so when he had me on the cage, it was starting to lock up a bit. I'm not sure what happened. We'll find out pretty soon."
Regardless of injury, Pettis said he still wants to beat Aldo. He didn't specify whether he would like the fight at featherweight or lightweight.
"I'm here to prove I'm the best in the world," he said. "Anybody around my weight class that's contemplating coming to 155 or even at 145 – his coach said I faked an injury. I would never fake an injury. I'm not afraid to fight anybody, and that's what that was all about. If he wants to fight me, let's make it happen. I'm ready."