Dana White: Mendes vs. Swanson ‘makes sense’ for the title if Aldo vacates
The UFC president calmed everyone's nerves saying that negotiations are going well to put Jose Aldo against Anthony Pettis next, while also stating that a Chad Mendes vs. Cub Swanson fight for a vacant featherweight title 'makes sense'.
UFC president Dana White acted as mediator on Wednesday night during an appearance on FOX Sports Live where he said the gap separating the two fighters from coming together wasn’t that wide, and ultimately Aldo just wanted to be treated ‘like a champion’. In other words, Aldo most likely wanted to get a raise before accepting the fight and a move to 155 pounds.
"There’s no disagreement over the weight, they’re going to fight at 155 pounds," White said. "What will happen is Aldo would have to give up his title, vacate the 145-pound title, and move up to 155."
If that situation gets handled in a timely fashion and Aldo does end up relinquishing his featherweight title to move up to 155 pounds, that leaves an opening for a champion in the 145-pound division. White wasn’t ready to play matchmaker right on the spot, but he said that the most likely scenario if Aldo moves up is for top ranked contender Chad Mendes to step into the title picture against Cub Swanson, who is currently riding a five fight win streak.
"I’m not making a fight announcement here or anything, but what would make sense is Cub Swanson and Chad Mendes would probably be fighting for that title, and Pettis and Aldo would fight at 155," White said.
The deal to get Aldo and Pettis matched up isn’t done yet, but it sounds closer now than it did even 12 hours ago. There’s also the matter of timing because Aldo just fought and Pettis is still on the sidelines after having knee surgery that could have potentially put him out for a big chunk of 2014.
As it stands, Pettis has stated that he believes he could be ready to fight as early as July, but the UFC has stated that they won’t book a fight for the lightweight champion until they know his knee is back to full health and he’s ready to go.