UFC President Dana White claimed that Aldo didn’t want to headline the card, but Aldo says it was his coach who actually made that decision.
“I never turned anything down,” Aldo said at the UFC Fight Night Fortaleza media day (via MMA Fighting). “The thing about three or five rounds, it was (my coach Andre Pederneiras) who thought it wouldn’t be good. You can ask him. He made the fight three rounds, he thought it would be better. To me, it doesn’t matter. Five, 10 rounds, however many they want, I’ll do it against Moicano or anyone else. I have no problem with that. I train for that, that’s what I do every day. I want to get there and always do my best. I never said otherwise.”
Aldo hasn’t headlined a UFC event since UFC 218 in December of 2017, where he was defeated by UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.
The former featherweight champion does admit that it is tough not being in the main event fight of a UFC card.
“It’s tough to see me in the in the co-main event. Of course, respecting both of them, Raphael (and Moraes) will be the main event, (but) it’s tough to see the name I have and not being the main event,” he said. “I had that in my mind, but if I got to where I am today was thanks to ‘Dede’, and he knows really well what he’s doing.”
UFC Fight Night Fortaleza takes place on Saturday, February 2 from the Olympic Training Center in Fortaleza, Brazil with Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.