Jose Aldo does not respond well to criticism. The UFC featherweight champion appears to be on the boil, following an episode of the MMA Hour in which Mendes talked about his recently re-scheduled fight with Aldo, stating that Aldo "can't run forever," and that he would be taking the belt once the two finally fought again. Included in the expected frustration of the fight cancellation, was this shot leveled at Aldo, one that seems to really have gotten under the champion's skin (transcription via MMA Fighting):
"If Aldo can't stay healthy and is too fragile to go through a training camp," Mendes said. "Then I think it is time to step aside and let guys who are able to do that and able to push through all that stuff, to be a champ."
Jose Aldo was quick to return fire and released this statement to Combate (translation via Guilherme Cruz/MMA Fighting):
"Maybe I have so many injuries because I'm not taking the same ‘supplements' you take," Aldo wrote. "I have injuries because I train a lot to beat you like I did last time, and I think you remember that and still have nightmares about it. I did all the medical exams I had to do, but if you're a doctor now, I can send them so you can take a look. Maybe you can prescript one of your supplements so I can heal faster.
"The one who gets beat up usually runs away from another beating, but you can't run forever because I'm going after you. Before the cage is closed you can say whatever you want, because once they close it you won't be able to open your mouth, so keep talking while you have a mouth. And who are you to say where we are going to fight? I don't think Dana White would be happy to see someone making his decisions."
"You're the one who seems to only fight at your home, who desperately doesn't want to fight in Brazil," Aldo replied. "I got injured before and my fight with Frankie Edgar was (the fight) moved from Brazil to Las Vegas. I fought your coach (Urijah Faber) in your home (Sacramento), fought at Mark Hominick's home in front of 55,000 fans, I fought in Japan and Europe. And now you tell me you want to be the champion? A champion doesn't choose opponents or where the fight is going to be. And now I ask you, who's the real pu--y?"
Interestingly, it's not Mendes at the center of doping rumors, surrounding the busted UFC 176 card, but Aldo himself. Greg Savage on Sherdog's Cheap Seats Radio (at about 00:45:30) recently brought to light that Aldo's withdrawl from UFC 176 came directly on the heels of the UFC and it's fighters being contacted by the CSAC for potential pre-fight drug testing for the card.
"It's not something I heard, it's something I know. The UFC was contacted from the California [State] Athletic Commission from my understanding, and was looking for contact information for all the fighters from UFC 176, and were informed they were going to do pre-fight drugs testing. Or maybe they weren't informed, and maybe they inferred it. Apparently the next day, Jose Aldo pulled out. Then when we revisited and asked a couple of people people they said: 'Oh no, he was hurt 4 or 5 days before they announced he was out of the fight.' They were looking for a replacement. It's pretty tough to keep news like that under wraps for 4 or 5 days, so I'm more inclined to believe the first version. It could be a huge coincidence too, and I don't want to imply anything, but there is that speculation that's out there and there's plenty of people talking about it."
So far, there's a lot of smoke and very little in the way of fire. But, in the aftermath of four major drug testing incidents it's hard not to pay a little more attention when rumors start to spread. The UFC is trying to grapple with an increasingly public PED problem and fighters hurling allegations at each other certainly isn't going to make talk about the potential of widespread doping in MMA die down.