Current interim UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (26-2) made the trip to Las Vegas to sit down with President Dana White on Wednesday. Aldo had made headlines over the past few weeks when he said that he no longer wanted to fight in UFC. His comments came on the heels of UFC booking the main event of UFC 205 to feature Conor McGregor, the featherweight champion, against Eddie Alvarez rather than book Aldo in a rematch against McGregor to unify the featherweight crown.
Aldo lost the championship by knockout at UFC 194 to McGregor in a 13-second bout. It was his first loss in seven consecutive title defenses, and Aldo felt that he deserved an immediate rematch. Instead, McGregor went on to fight Nate Diaz twice before taking the Alvarez bout scheduled for UFC 205. Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, noted that Aldo felt so disrespected by that decision that he wanted to walk away from MMA at that time, but was talked into the UFC 200 bout against Frankie Edgar with a condition attached. Said Pederneiras:
“He was waiting for that immediate rematch and it didn’t happen, He said, ‘These guys don’t respect me. I’ve been champion for so long. I’m the only champion of the featherweight division. If anybody should get an immediate rematch, why not me?’ After this, Dana and [UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby] called me and asked him to fight Frankie Edgar. I said, ‘It’s going to be difficult but I’ll try.’ I talked to him for a month and I convinced him only because we said, ‘Dana, he’ll fight, but if you want this fight, the next one is with Conor.’ And they said, ‘Yes.'”
Aldo did say that the meeting was productive and there may be more to follow, but he has no interest in furthering his MMA career. In a quote that was translated by ESPN.com, he said:
“I didn’t come here just wanting to cancel my contract. I came here because I had a lot on my chest that I wanted to say. And that’s what was done. I will follow my own path and UFC will follow theirs. Time will tell what the future holds. I came here from Brazil already with ideas firmly fixed in my head. My current intention is to no longer fight. That hasn’t changed. That’s how I felt when I left Brazil and that’s how I feel today.”
UFC offered no other comment other than the meeting was productive. UFC President Dana White did note that “(He) loves the guy” and was doing what he could to make Aldo happy.