UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo hasn’t been seen in the Octagon since he defeated former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar by decision at UFC 200 to win the UFC Interim Featherweight Championship. According to Aldo’s longtime coach, Andre Pederneiras, Tony Ferguson ran from Aldo when he was offered a fight against him.
“We’re doing some negotiations with the UFC,” Pederneiras said during a social media Q&A. “It depends on some agreements. There’s this interest in moving up, and it could’ve happened now, with the challenge that Aldo issued to Khabib, who’s No. 1 in the (UFC) rankings. Turned out he didn’t take it. Then we issued it to Tony Ferguson, who’d talked a bunch of crap on the Internet two weeks before, saying even that he would fight Aldo. But then when we offered it, he ran and didn’t take it.”
Pederneiras says that he understands why Khabib Nurmagomedov turned down the potential fight with Aldo, but not why Ferguson ran from the fight.
“Sometimes the guy talks a bunch, and when they offer what he’s talking about, he says he doesn’t want it,” Pederneiras said. “So, the guy just wants attention. And that’s what happened now. We tried Khabib, who turned it down because his dad felt it wasn’t worth it at the moment. We’re not saying he’s scared, because an athlete who’s used to fighting in the UFC is not afraid of anyone. There are moments in a fighter’s career that he needs to be able to pick and use in his favor. They felt, on Khabib’s side, it wasn’t the right moment to take a fight like this. On Tony Ferguson’s side, I can’t say the same. Because if two weeks before you say you want to get the guy, that you can move down a weight division to fight the champion, and they offer the fight in your division and you say no? Then you don’t really have what to say.”
Aldo is a two time UFC Featherweight Champion and a one time UFC Interim Featherweight Champion, neither Ferguson or Nurmagomedov have held gold in the UFC.