Saturday night at UFC 164, Anthony Pettis submitted Benson Henderson by arm bar and became the new lightweight champion. Then he did something rarely seen in combat sports as far as I know. He called out another champ, in a different division.
“Jose Aldo, we’ve got some unfinished business!” Said Pettis as he held on to Joe Rogan‘s mic. “My belt or your belt!”
Reporters had a lot of questions for Dana White about who would be next for Pettis at this point, at last night’s post fight presser. Of course Dana reiterated his familiar mantra of making a point on not setting up fights with fighters who just stepped outside the Octagon from their last one. But he couldn’t help acknowledging how much fun it would be to see these two champs go at it in the cage.
“It’s 100% Anthony Pettis, yah 100%, that is a sick fight,” said Dana on who he would like to see fight Jose Aldo next. “Here’s the thing. You can tell that Anthony Pettis is willing to go anywhere it takes. So I know Jose’s coach is saying, ‘well he can come down here at 45,’ cause they’ll think he’ll be at a disadvantage. Where’s I actually think he’ll be at a huge advantage at 145. But either way, whether Aldo goes to Pettis, or Pettis goes to Aldo, you know, they’re going to fight. I think you’ll see Pettis go where the fight can happen.”
In this sport, everything comes down to timing. Unfortunately there is a very serious possibility that Pettis’s hurt knee from last night’s bout, may result in him sitting out for a while. While this was the worst news for Dana and Co., it may wind up being a blessing in disguise for the organization.
Just because Pettis vs. Aldo would be a great fight, doesn’t mean it’s good for the sport. If one of the champs changes weight classes for this fight, that could freeze things up for both divisions, especially in the inevitable event that one man winds up simultaneously holding both belts.
Yet a lot of people believe the sport needs a super fight. That would be a bit of a stretch at this point. Sure both men are champions, but where Aldo has been holding the belt since the WEC days, Pettis has been the man since, well yesterday.
When a reporter asked Dana a similar vein of questions, the UFC president seemed confident he could find a way to make it work by stating that whatever the UFC decided to do, it wouldn’t cause problems for either division.