It’s been a perplexing 18 months for a many widespread featherweight of all time.
In late 2015, Jose Aldo (26-2) suffered his initial better in some-more than a decade, a 13-second knockout detriment to Conor McGregor. It’s turn a defining impulse of Aldo’s career, in some ways overshadowing years of dominance.
When Aldo bounced behind with a feat over Frankie Edgar 7 months later, he believed he’d cumulative a rematch opposite McGregor — yet a Irish star inaugurated to pierce adult in weight and quarrel Eddie Alvarez for a lightweight pretension instead. Initially, McGregor was authorised to keep his featherweight belt, that meant Aldo was still relegated to halt champ.
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Infuriated, Aldo demanded his recover from a UFC and threatened to retire. He eventually met UFC boss Dana White in Las Vegas and asked for a contractual leisure to pursue boxing.
Ultimately, things have returned to a rather normal state. Aldo never boxed, was backed as a division’s central champion, and will urge his pretension opposite Max Holloway during UFC 212 this weekend in Rio de Janeiro.
Aldo’s manager and father figure Andre Pederneiras, was with a warrior via a ordeal. Pederneiras spoke to ESPN.com about a final 18 months of Aldo’s career and where it’s left his mindset.
ESPN.com: After such a prolonged run of dominance, how tough were these final 18 months?
Pederneiras: It was only formidable since after his quarrel with Frankie, he wanted Conor. But Conor wouldn’t accept a fight, and after that, Aldo started to consider about retirement. We flew to Vegas to accommodate with Dana, and Dana said, ‘I can give we some leisure to box, and if we wish to retire, OK, yet your UFC agreement will continue.’ Aldo started to consider again, if he wasn’t given full leisure to box, still underneath contract, watchful for a possibility to quarrel Conor, maybe he would try to quarrel during 155 pounds. That’s when we attempted to quarrel [lightweight] Khabib Nurmagomedov, yet his father did not wish him to accept. And afterwards Holloway supposed to quarrel us after he kick Anthony Pettis in December, yet pronounced he indispensable to take his son to Disneyland and indispensable to do a movie, so now, finally, he has a time to fight.
ESPN.com: So, to clarify, did a UFC give Aldo accede to box or no?
Pederneiras: When Aldo saw a quarrel with Conor was not happening, he said, ‘OK, now I’m going to finish my career in MMA and try to start one in veteran boxing.’ And if he ever wanted to go behind to MMA, he would need to finish his agreement with a UFC. Dana did not unequivocally give us permission. He said, ‘Maybe. You send me a name of your competition and maybe we’ll accept we fighting in Brazil. But it will count on what quarrel we take.’ Nobody can start a new career if they’re saying, ‘We can quarrel this guy, yet not this guy.’ Maybe he could quarrel on a same label as McGregor and Floyd Mayweather — another large name in boxing.
ESPN.com: If it were adult to Aldo, today, would he still wish a UFC to recover him so he could pursue boxing?
Pederneiras: we consider so. He wants to be a universe champion in boxing. He thinks he can do it. He wants to quarrel Conor again, though. Maybe win a 155-pound championship. If Conor came back, he would need to quarrel [Aldo]. He was fighting during 145 pounds and Aldo won a halt title. Conor left and went to 155. If he was a champion during 155, would Conor leave for another multiplication again? Leave a sport? we don’t know. If he goes to 170 pounds, Aldo says he will go to quarrel anybody during 170, to be a subsequent contender for Conor. He only wants to quarrel Conor and that’s it.
ESPN.com: Given his enterprise to box, and with a McGregor rematch on his mind, how encouraged is Aldo for this arriving quarrel opposite Holloway?
Pederneiras: That’s a best thing about Aldo. When he signs a contract, he forgets about all and concentrates on his subsequent fight. He doesn’t wish to remove any fight, we understand? Right now, he does not consider about fighting Conor or boxing.
ESPN.com: So is a devise to urge a featherweight pretension opposite Holloway this weekend, and afterwards ask for an halt lightweight pretension fight?
Pederneiras: Maybe. We need to finish a fight, yet really, after that, we have a plan. we can’t contend it before a fight, yet we have a plan.
ESPN.com: And that devise ends with a McGregor rematch?
Pederneiras: Always. Always. We wish a quarrel with Conor McGregor. But it’s tough to get. We know that. We know he doesn’t ever wish to quarrel Aldo again. Maybe in boxing. Maybe he’d accept a fighting match. When we were assembly with Dana, he told us, ‘Conor does not wish to quarrel you. we attempted all to put him in to a quarrel with you. we can’t put a gun to his head.’ That’s a word, from Dana to us. Dana told that to Aldo, directly.
ESPN.com: How critical is removing that rematch opposite McGregor to you, as his coach?
Pederneiras: we consider Aldo has finished a lot for this sport. Aldo kick them for so prolonged and did all right. He’s a good kid. He don’t speak s— about anybody. All a time, he’s assisting people. He’s a good guy. Maybe this competition does not like good guys. But only in a sport, not a selling side of it, we consider Aldo deserves his rematch some-more than any champion that has ever been before him. He mislaid a title, came behind and fought a good warrior like Frankie Edgar, supposed a pretension invulnerability opposite Max Holloway who is really, unequivocally good, and afterwards before that, he challenged a man that nobody – nobody — wants to quarrel during 155, and that’s Khabib. He’s finished all he can to merit this rematch with Conor.