Sometimes, managers should just simply stick to managing – this according to UFC president Dana White. Seconds after Anthony Pettis captured the lightweight crown by submitting Benson Henderson at UFC 164, he publicly requested a tango with reigning featherweight champ Jose Aldo (pictured).
“Jose Aldo, we’ve got some unfinished business. Your belt or my belt,” Pettis confidently stated.
If Aldo’s manger gets his way, it will be for Aldo’s strap. Shortly after Pettis became the UFC’s new 155-pound king, Andre Pederneiras posted on Twitter that he wants Pettis to shed 10 pounds and challenge for his client’s featherweight title.
According to White, that move put Aldo at a disadvantage in the mental game department because Pettis won’t hesitate in accepting the fight regardless of weight class.
“I mean, for [Aldo’s] manager to come out, this is what drives me crazy about managers, and 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,” White said following the UFC 164 post-fight press conference.
“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.”
On the flipside, having a bigger and stronger Pettis drop down in weight might not necessarily provide the edge Aldo’s camp is hoping for, either.
“That is a sick fight,” White said of Aldo vs. Pettis, a featherweight shootout that was supposed to take place at UFC 163 until an injury forced Pettis out. “Here’s the thing, you can tell 100 percent Anthony Pettis is willing to go anywhere it takes. I know that Jose’s coach is saying, ‘Hey, he can come down here at 145,’ because they think [Pettis will] be at a disadvantage, whereas I actually think [Pettis would] be at a huge advantage at 145. Where he’s big, strong.
“I think you’re gonna see Pettis [be] more willing to go where the fight can happen.”
While White refused to commit to what’s next for Pettis, primarily because they need to see what the MRI says about the left knee he hurt in Saturday’s fight, the fanboy in him wants to see Aldo vs. Pettis more than anybody.
“It’s 100 percent Anthony Pettis. One Hundred percent,” White responded when asked who’s currently the most exciting challenger for Aldo. “Either way, if Aldo goes to Pettis or Pettis goes to Aldo, they’re gonna fight.”