The announcement of the UFC 205 headliner between Eddie Alvarez and Conor McGregor elicited a variety of reactions from within the MMA community.
While many were excited at the prospect of such a blockbuster bout taking place in the Las Vegas-promotion’s New York debut, the news had Jose Aldo contemplating a career change. Shortly after Alvarez-McGregor was confirmed, Aldo requested the termination of his UFC contract. The Brazilian was upset that McGregor had not defended his featherweight title since knocking him out in 13 seconds at UFC 194 this past December and claimed that the promotion should have forced the Irishman to vacate his title or put it on the line in a rematch.
Dana White addressed Aldo’s complaints during an appearance on "UFC Tonight". The UFC president claims that he doesn’t have as much power as people might think in situations such as these.
“I can’t make anybody fight anybody,” White said. “I can do the best I can to put together fights and make them happen. Jose Aldo and I will get together probably next week and we’ll talk about this. I think he’s being a little ridiculous about this. I’ll get him a fight. I’ll get him a fight all day long.
“If you look at that division, it’s stacked. [Max] Holloway’s ready, he wants to fight. Anthony Pettis is in that division now. There’s a lot talented guys that he can fight. I can’t make Conor McGregor fight anybody.”
White also confirmed that should McGregor defeat Alvarez at UFC 205, he will have to vacate either the 145- or the 155-pound title. That, however, is in contrast to what McGregor said at a recent press conference, when he boasted that “you’re gonna need a f—-ing army to come take them belts off me.”
“If he wins, he’ll hold two belts,” White said. “Then he’ll decide which one he wants to give back to me. He can’t hold both. He’ll have accomplished this. Then he’ll have to figure out which one he wants to give up. He can’t hold up two divisions.”
As he has on a number of occasions, White acknowledged that McGregor is a special case in the UFC, which is why he gets some of the leeway he does.
“Aldo never aspired to do those things. I’m the guy that has stood in front of pretty much everybody in this sport at one time or another. A fight pulls out the week before, and nobody acts the way Conor McGregor acts when a fight pulls out,” White said. “Normally when you have so much to lose everybody’s afraid to lose it. Nobody wants to take a risk. This guy goes all in. That’s part of the appeal and the allure of Conor McGregor. When you step up and fight the way this guy fights and put all your chips on the table — nobody does it.”