Jose Aldo has asked to be released from his UFC contract after Conor McGregor was given a title shot for the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez. McGregor-Alvarez will take place at UFC 205 in the promotion’s first event in the state of New York.
Jose Aldo was knocked out by Conor McGregor at UFC 194 and has been demanding a rematch since. Conor McGregor hasn’t fought in the 145-pound division since his win over Aldo, essentially putting the featherweight championship in limbo.
Andre Pedernaeiras, Aldo’s manager, said on MMA Fighting:
“I think Dana and the new owners have to understand that there’s a completely unsatisfied employee who doesn’t want to continue… If that was in Brazil and a guy said ‘boss, I want to leave,’ I’d say ‘Ok, I can’t hold you.’ The contract we have in the UFC, ‘boss, I want to leave,’ the answer is ‘no, you’ll be stuck with me, you might not do anything, but you can’t leave here.’ Is that something nice?
“I think it creates dissatisfaction, and he will want to go to court. He would have to go to court to cut this contract. And the damage a dissatisfied person, someone like Aldo, talking sh*t to everyone about a lot of things, I think the company wouldn’t want a guy like this every day in the media talking trash. Since the guy doesn’t want to do it, let him leave! ‘I just want to leave, I don’t want to stay here anymore, I don’t want to fight here. I don’t want to be in anymore.’ We don’t want a war, we don’t want a fight, we don’t want to talk bad about anyone. We only want the right to say ‘I don’t want to be here anymore. It’s not about money, I don’t want to be here anymore.’”
The UFC previously had a rule that a fighter can’t hold the belt in two different weight classes but has made an exception for Conor McGregor who currently holds the featherweight title and has opened as an early favorite in his fight for the lightweight championship.
Dana White has said he will not release Jose Aldo from his contract with the UFC. Jose Aldo has six fights remaining on his contract.
Jose Aldo’s biggest complaint is that he feels the tail is wagging the dog. Conor McGregor has become such a big star, and is driving so much revenue to the UFC, that the UFC has been bending the rules and folding to McGregor’s wishes. With the UFC giving him non-title fight rematches when he asks for them, letting him challenge for titles in two weight divisions, and permitting him to avoid defending his featherweight title.
Jose Aldo’s conflict with the UFC might increase his value the same way that McGregor’s disagreement with the company led to even more publicity. Aldo still has a lot of value as a PPV draw so it is very unlikely that the UFC releases him. The most likely remedy to the situation is that McGregor’s next fight is against Jose Aldo or he has to vacate his belt so that a new featherweight champion can become the champion.