Article

Jose Aldo: The Most Dangerous Featherweight Alive

"Any fighter at this level is dangerous and difficult. You have to respect them all and you have to train very well for them, which is what I’m doing." - Jose Aldo
UFC featherweight champion Jose AldoWhen it was announced that Anthony Pettis had been forced out of his UFC 163 bout with featherweight champ Jose Aldo due to injury and replaced by “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung, conventional wisdom said that the same fighter who lost to Leonard Garcia and George Roop and who earned his nickname in part due to his ability to take punishment and keep moving forward was being led to slaughter.

Jose Aldo doesn’t deal in conventional wisdom.

“Any fighter at this level is dangerous and difficult,” said the champion. You have to respect them all and you have to train very well for them, which is what I’m doing.”

That’s the difference between fighters like Aldo and the majority of his peers. Let’s face it, it’s human nature for someone who has been dominant for so long to eventually take the foot off the gas when he assumes that just showing up is enough. It’s called reading your press clippings, and the examples of fighters who have paid for such hubris in combat sports over the years could fill pages and pages of copy.

But Aldo appears to be cut from a different cloth, one where he never forgets where he comes from and fears going back there, even if that’s the furthest of far-fetched notions. Like most fighters, he comes from humble beginnings, even sleeping on the mats of the Nova Uniao gym as a teenager trying to make a new life for himself. But even after making it to the top of the featherweight division in the WEC and now UFC, and earning a spot on the pound-for-pound list, there’s a fire in Aldo that has yet to dim after four successful UFC title defenses. That doesn’t mean he downplays who he is as an athlete, but at the same time he knows what it takes to remain at the top.

“I’m an all-around fighter and I will take the fight wherever it has to be taken, but at the same time, it also means that I have to train very, very hard to stay where I am,” said Aldo, who admits to not watching his opposition as closely as he watches himself.

“I’m much more worried about my own fights and my own mistakes than paying attention to the mistakes other opponents might be making.”

Yet as Saturday’s bout with Jung approaches, Aldo has been paying close attention to the task at hand and what may appear to be the challenger’s downfall: his tendency to open up and throw wide once the fists start flying. For a precision striker like Aldo, that’s music to his ears.

“He’s a very aggressive guy,” said Aldo of the Zombie. “In his standup fights he presents opportunities and we’ve definitely been studying that. I think that he fights very open and leaves a lot of opportunities to be struck. But if that’s the way he wants to fight, let it be that way.”

If he does, it could be a short night, something past opponents Chad Mendes and Cub Swanson found out the hard way, as he seized openings and dispatched the talented challengers in 4:59 and :08, respectively.

But if you can keep your chin tucked and your hands up and get through the first couple rounds with Aldo, he has been known to slow down in the championship stanzas, as evidenced by his ultimately successful defenses against Mark Hominick and Frankie Edgar. It’s a criticism the 26-year-old Manaus native has heard before.

“I have to be ready to take the fight whatever way it goes,” he said. “If it’s a long fight or a short fight, I’ve got to be trained and ready for anything that comes up.”

Even Jung’s rapidly improving ground game, which has accounted for two Submission of the Night victories over Leonard Garcia and Dustin Poirier? Aldo, a BJJ black belt, scoffs at suggestions that Jung will give him trouble if the fight hits the mat.

“He’s aggressive and he’s got a good ground game, but it’s not something I’m very worried about,” said Aldo, a pupil of respected coach Andre Pederneiras. “I have been training jiu-jitsu all of my life, so there’s nothing in the ground game that scares me in any way.”

Put it all together now. Aldo is aware of his opponents, taking them all very seriously. But at the same time, he brings the edge of the true competitor where he believes whatever his foes can do, he can do better. That’s a dangerous mix of humility and confidence, respect and disdain. It’s what makes Aldo the best featherweight on the planet, and one who may keep that title as long as he wants to. Just ask him about Saturday’s fight with the Korean Zombie.

“I will beat the man.”



Watch Past Fights

토요일, 10월 1
11PM/8PM
ETPT
Portland, Oregon

미디어

최근
전 밴텀급 챔피언 헤난 바라오의 백스테이지 인터뷰. 바라오는 UFN 브라질리아 공동메인이벤트 경기에서 필리페 노버를 상대로 페더급 전향 후 첫 승리를 거뒀다.
2016. 9. 25
로이 넬슨 백스테이지 인터뷰. 넬슨은 UFN 브라질리아 메인카드 헤비급 경기에서 안토니오 실바에게 TKO 승리를 거뒀다.
2016. 9. 24
UFC 경기분석가 로빈 블랙이 UFC 204 대회 메인이벤트 마이클 비스핑 vs. 댄 헨더슨 미들급 타이틀전을 분석한다. 양 선수는 UFC 100 대회에서 한 차례 맞붙은 바 있다. UFC 204 대회는 10월 8일 영국 멘체스터에서 열린다.
2016. 9. 24
UFN 브라질리아 대회 메인이벤트에서 경기를 치른 크리스 사이보그의 백스테이지 인터뷰. 사이보그는 리나 란스베리에게 2라운드 TKO승을 거뒀다. 사이보그의 경기 소감 및 향후 계획에 대해 들어보자.
2016. 9. 24