When the UFC booked featherweight champion Conor McGregor vs. lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, #1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov was livid. Interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo was more upset still.
“After all of this, I see I can’t trust a single word from president Dana White,” said Aldo to Brazil’sCombate, as transcribed by Fernanda Prates for MMAjunkie. “The person in charge of the event now is Conor McGregor. Since I’m not here to be McGregor’s employer, I ask for my contract with the UFC to be terminated.
“When they suggested the fight against Frankie Edgar, Dana said the winner of this fight would either be McGregor’s challenger or have the linear belt, because if he didn’t return to the featherweight division after the Nate Diaz rematch he’d lose the belt.
“After so many times being lied to, I don’t feel motivated to fight in the UFC anymore.”
UFC president Dana White had said repeatedly that McGregor has to defend his belt, or give it up. If he gave it up, presumably the interim champion, Aldo, would become the undisputed title holder. Aldo was counting on and waiting on one of the other. Now apparently there has been an evolution in the stance – McGregor can fight while retaining his belt, and then if he wins will have to give up one of them.
“We waited, until Dana said publicly that he wanted this fight with McGregor to happen,” said Aldo. “We were expecting it to happen: Either I’d have my rematch to unify the featherweight belt or I’d get my belt back fighting Holloway or Pettis, considering that, according to what Dana himself had been saying all along, Conor couldn’t keep both belts.
“But, to my surprise, I found out last night about the fight between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, who’d also been denied by Dana himself last week and, to make matters worse, he’d keep the featherweight belt, being able to get two belts simultaneously.”
“I understand [McGregor] is a big draw, but there’s a limit in which this is no longer a sport and it’s a circus. I don’t want any type of fight with the UFC. The only thing I want is to move on with my life and that they move on with theirs.”
“It’s not about money for me. I can’t take it anymore. I’ve reached my limit. It’s not about the circus or anything [White] might do. I don’t know, for me, if he likes me – like he’s said he likes me and my family – I just ask that he lets me go normally. I don’t want to fight. I want to walk out the same way I walked in.
“I think the UFC never gave me anything, or WEC. Everything I earned. Everything was thanks to my efforts, my family’s, my team’s, ‘Dede,’ they helped me get there. In no moment did they give me anything. I earned it with my own merit, and I gave them a lot more than they gave me. So I just want them to release me from my contract.
“I don’t want to fight anymore. What if they offer me millions? They can keep them, I don’t want it. Pardon the expression, but I’m not a whore, to sell myself. I’m a man. My dad made me this way. So that’s all I want.”
White spoke with Combate, and vowed to work things out.
“We won’t cancel his contract,” said White, as translated by Lucas Rezende for BE. “We know he got very emotional. We respect Jose Aldo very much. We care for the people around him. Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted a fight on the card and we got it for him. I’m sure we can find something nice for Aldo, as well.”