The list of fighters who have vocalized their displeasure with the UFC's booking of Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez has been a long one in recent days, but even so, there weren't many of us who could have predicted that Jose Aldo would react to it as badly as he has.
Perhaps "badly" is not the right word to use. If Aldo is to be believed (which for all intents and purposes, he is), the booking of UFC 205's main event was just the final straw in a series of clashes with UFC brass that have sucked out the joy that the sport once filled him with, to the point that demanded to be released from his contract just moments after UFC 205's press conference had wrapped up.
So yeah, badly.
Even after his lengthy interview with Combate yesterday, it turns out that Aldo was not quite done venting, and took to the popular Brazilian publication in a phone interview to shout from the rooftops that he's mad as hell and not going to take it anymore...figuratively speaking. The main target of his wrath? That would be UFC president, Dana White, who Aldo claimed had promised him, among other things, a rematch with McGregor following his win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200.
"I don't think this is just disrespecting me, but the whole division, same for the lightweights," said Aldo. "If he wins, I guess he'll want to put him with someone who has nothing to do with it. Khabib signed two contracts. If Khabib signed two contracts, what is his (Dana) word worth? It's like he just said, if he likes me and is thinking like he said I just want him to release me, that's what I think should happen."
So, when that didn't happen, Aldo decided that enough was enough.
"UFC never gave me anything, not WEC or anything, everything was through my own merit and effort, from me...my team and my family who helped me to get there. They didn't give me anything at any moment, I earned it with my own merits and gave them a lot more than they gave me in return, so I just want to be released from the contract, I don't want to fight anymore. Ah, let's say he offers me millions, he can take them and keep for himself, I don't think that I am a whore to sell myself, I am a man, my father raised me this way and that's all I want."
Despite all this, the main crux of Aldo's complaint seems not to be with the fact that McGregor was booked against Alvarez to begin with, but that he will be keeping the featherweight division in a state of purgatory in order to do so. The Brazilian recounted a similar situation that arose between him and then-lightweight champion Anthony Pettis in 2013 that played out far differently than the current McGregor-Alvarez double title situation.
"When I wanted to fight with Anthony Pettis way back then in the lightweight division, Pettis' manager came to us, everything worked out, we went to Dana and he said: "No, if you want to take this fight you need to leave the featherweight division, give up your belt, and then you can fight Pettis in the lightweight division, and after that if you lose or win, you can make a fight to get your featherweight belt back." I didn't think it was fair back then and I don't think it is, I said "Okay, I will stay in my division because I know I am the champion, I am trying to do something good for you, the promotion, for everyone, and you want me to give up something mine..." and now something totally different is happening."
The thing of it is, Aldo's wish will more than likely be granted if he just keeps a calm head for a little while longer. While McGregor has stated his intentions to defend both the lightweight and featherweight belts simultaneously with a win at UFC 205, White doesn't exactly see eye-to-eye with him. Regardless, it's easy to see how Aldo -- a loyal staple of the UFC since the featherweight division was first absorbed in 2011 -- has grown tired of being treated like a second class citizen. It would be a black eye on the sport's history to see him leave before his time was up, so let's hope that he can resolve things with the UFC before either party has to get the lawyers involved.