Dana White: Jose Aldo vs. Anthony Pettis fight may have to wait

Jason da Silva-USA TODAY Sports

According to UFC president Dana White, If UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is unable to fight in July, Jose Aldo may need to defend his featherweight title

Those waiting to see UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo relinquish his title and move up to lightweight to face Anthony Pettis may have to wait just a little longer.

Shortly after Aldo had defended his UFC title a sixth time with a unanimous decision win over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169, UFC president Dana White declared that a fight between Aldo and Pettis was already booked - it wasn't.

In fact, at the same press conference, Aldo seemed like he wasn't all that enthused about the idea of giving up his title in order to fight Pettis for the lightweight crown. A few days after the press conference White, appearing on Fox Sports Live said that he had addressed Aldo's concerns: "I think what Aldo was worried about, is if Aldo moves up to 155 and vacates the title, he wants to be treated like a champion in this fight - which he would be. All the things that he gets at 145 pounds as a champion he would receive, and I think that was part of the issue, and that was all worked out today."

Unfortunately, Aldo's concerns were not the final piece to the puzzle. That final piece is finding out when Pettis will be healthy enough to fight again. In mid-December Pettis had surgery to repair a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Following that surgery, Pettis said he was hoping for an early July return to the Octagon.

On Wednesday night, Ariel Helwani reported on UFC Tonight that if Pettis was not able to return for the July 5 fight card that the Aldo fight may have to wait. According to Helwani, "Anthony Pettis' manager told me he will meet with his doctor next week to see about his recovery from his knee injury. After that, he'll know if he can fight on July 5th. If he can't, Dana White told me the UFC might have Jose Aldo fight at 145 again and defend his title, but he's not sure against who. So it's very much possible Jose's days fighting at 145 are not over yet."

During a Thursday media lunch, White according to Kevin Iole said that Pettis' knee was examined by UFC Dr. Steven Sanders, and that his knee was "recovering fabulously" and "looking great." White stopped short of making an announcement regarding Pettis' availability for a July 5 event.

If Pettis is unavailable, the question then becomes who does the UFC match up against Aldo? Aldo has already defeated No. 1 ranked Chad Mendes, No. 2 ranked Frankie Edgar, No. 3 ranked Lamas and No. 5 ranked Chan Sung Jung in the UFC. No. 4 ranked Cub Swanson was TKO'd by Pettis in the WEC.

According to UFC president Dana White, If UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is unable to fight in July, Jose Aldo may need to defend his featherweight title

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