Andre Pederneiras of Nova União gave his thoughts on the McGregor v Diaz rematch, and the possibility of a Jose Aldo renewal in speaking to Ariel Helwani.
Lurking in the shadows of the six month extravaganza that was the Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz show was one Jose Aldo. Knocked out by the former in just 13 seconds last year, the former five-year long UFC featherweight champion made many noises about a rematch with the ‘Notorious’.
As those noises went unheard, Aldo competed for the interim featherweight belt, handily defeating Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 last month.
Forced to bide his time until the conclusion of UFC 202 this past weekend, Aldo is back in the McGregor mix, and his coach Andre Pederneiras promptly appeared on last night’s MMA Hour.
“It was such a close fight, but I thought Conor won,” Pederneiras admitted.
“For sure we were rooting for him – I prayed for him to win! But now he needs to go back to his division and have the rematch with Aldo. I don’t understand that he wants one more fight with Nate rather than giving it to Aldo. Now he’s saying they’ll maybe go to 155 pounds [in reference to McGregor’s post-fight interview]. Aldo deserves it.”
McGregor doesn’t share the same enthusiasm about a title defence. The UFC 202 post-fight conference saw him dismissive of the Brazilian.
“It’s hard for me to get excited about that [Aldo]”, McGregor told the press. “He didn’t go out and get it like I wanted him to get it [against Frankie Edgar].”
“I don’t think they’re gonna strip me of the belt. They want to give my belt to the guy I knocked out in 13 seconds and bury that division in the prelims? There’s many things in the pipeline, so sit tight. Shit’s about to hit the fan, so we’ll see.”
Though Pederneiras is hopeful that Dana White’s assertion that McGregor must defend the belt or be stripped remains valid, he feels that the hesitancy from McGregor is rooted in a lack of confidence.
“I always believe in Dana. If Dana says, he needs to go [defend the belt]. But I don’t think Conor is confident of fighting Aldo again,” he continued.
“He knows that one punch doesn’t say anything to anybody – that I’m better or the other guy’s better. It happens sometimes. He knows that. Jose saw the chance to finish the fight, and put everything into one moment. But how I tell a man who has been champion for so long that he made a mistake? If that punch landed, he would still be champion, and Conor would be on the floor.”
“I think it will happen, it needs to happen.”
— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) August 21, 2016