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Jose Aldo’s Coach Turned Down Kenny Florian Fight Because It Wasn’t ‘Interesting’

“(We) had a conversation with the UFC guys and suggested a fight between him and the 4th pound-for-pound (Frankie Edgar)… A counter proposal was made for a fight between Kenny Florian and Aldo. They asked me about it and I was the first to say no. Aldo fighting a UFC champion, the 4th pound-for-pound, is one thing. But the counter proposal was not interesting… It’s not that Florian is not tough or anything. I think he’s an excellent athlete, but he’s coming from a loss and, unfortunately for him, he has never been a UFC champion, and today is not between the top 10 pound-for-pound. I was the one who said no, nobody else did. Jose Aldo wanted to fight, but I didn’t let him do it because this fight wouldn’t bring any advantage at all for us, regardless of if Florian is a great fighter or not… If they offered us Sean Sherk in a situation like that, I’d have probably accepted it. He was a guy coming from a win and a former UFC champion. We didn’t deny the Florian fight for fear or anything, it was just not worth it. Aldo is a very young kid and will move up to LW naturally.”

—Jose Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, explaining to Tatame (translation via BE) why he, despite Aldo’s wishes, turned down a proposed fight against Kenny Florian in the UFC

At the time, this decision didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. No, Kenny Florian isn’t the lightweight champion or even a former champion, but he’s still one of the top lightweights in the UFC and arguably has a bigger name than even the current lightweight champ, Frankie Edgar. A fight against Kenny Florian in the UFC would have been a bigger fight than another title defense in the WEC. Of course, that was before it was announced that the WEC would merge into the UFC and Jose Aldo was suddenly the UFC featherweight champion. In the end, it appears Pederneiras made the right call because now Aldo has the best of both worlds. He’s not only in the weight class that suits him best for now, he’s also a UFC champion in that weight class. A move to 155lb. may still be in Aldo’s future, but now there’s no reason to rush it.

Image via Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports

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