The relationship between UFC President Dana White and the UFC’s longest-reigning champion, featherweight titlist Jose Aldo, has come into focus in recent weeks.
Last month, the Brazilian pulled out of his scheduled title defense against Conor McGregor at UFC 189, citing a broken rib. The nature of the injury was brought into question, with the UFC reporting that their doctors deduced that the injury was actually a bruise.
Aldo would later release X-rays of the injury to back his claims, along with a statement expressing his disagreement with the promotion’s decision to hold a bout between McGregor and Chad Mendes for an interim title.
I can’t agree with UFC’s decision to have an interim champion in my division citing the five opportunities that I couldn’t defend my belt… If those fights had occurred, I would have done 12 title fights in four years in the UFC, an average of three fights a year, something that no other UFC champion did. A UFC champion rarely does three title defenses in one year… if he beats Chad Mendes, the only thing he will have is a toy belt to show his drunk friends in his country’s bars, because that’s what an interim belt represents to me: a toy. I am the champion.
White refused to answer questions about Aldo yesterday in an interview with Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting, saying that “everything that was reported out there is complete bulls—” and “I never disrespected the guy.”
“I’m not talking about Jose Aldo anymore,” White said. “The despicable, I don’t even know what to call them that work in this business that own some of these websites, it’s one of these things where basically they lie about what I said. Not what I said and then turn it around and then by the time it gets translated into Portuguese it’s even worse. It makes me sick and I’m not say anything about Jose Aldo.”
Still, White maintains that the injury was a bruise, and not a break — and that Aldo was concerned about making weight.
“He had to cut something like 24 pounds and if he couldn’t physically do it the way that he does it, he was afraid that he couldn’t make weight,” White said. “That was really the issue. But he did not have a broken rib. It was a bruise. Every x-ray he sent out was of an old injury. What you saw right there on his body was an old injury, not a new injury.”