Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Jose Aldo sees a contradiction in Max Holloway’s “Where’s (W)Aldo” campaign.
While the two finally have a date – they headline UFC 212 on Jun 3 at Rio de Janeiro’s Jeneusse Arena – there was certainly a tug-of-war to get there.
First, before even winning the division’s interim belt, it was Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) who accused Aldo (26-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) of ducking him, amid the Brazilian’s publicly stated desires of scraps with Conor McGregor and Anthony Pettis.
Then, after Holloway beat Pettis in a matchup for the division’s interim title, the fight seemed all but on for UFC 208. A few days later, Aldo Aldo confirmed it. This time, however, Holloway was the one unable to make it. But in light of lightweight talk by Aldo, the interim champ continued to contest Aldo’s willingness to face him.
For Aldo, there’s a disconnect between talks and reality.
“It’s what I always say: Saying that in the media is very easy,” Aldo recently told MMAjunkie. “But me, him, all the athletes – we know what we say and what we answer to the UFC. But people don’t say that publicly. People say what’s convenient. So he was selling something that was convenient to him, saying I was running.
“We’d been trying to fight since December, January, and that didn’t happen. Then March. And he never could. He had to travel and (go to Disneyland), and a bunch of things. It seemed like it was my fault when, bro, this fight’s been done. He was the one who ran from the first and then said he couldn’t fight until the middle of the year. So we’re fighting now. Hopefully nothing bad will happen and we’ll have this fight at UFC Rio.”
Aldo comes off a victorious UFC 200 rematch with former 155-pound champion Frankie Edgar to claim the featherweight division’s interim title. He was reinstated as the undisputed champ after current lightweight titleholder McGregor was stripped of the 145-pound belt he’d taken with the infamous 13-second knockout of Aldo in 2015.
Holloway, in turn, comes off an impressive nine-fight winning streak – with wins over the likes of Cub Swanson and Ricardo Lamas. The Hawaiian featherweight’s last loss was back in 2013, when he dropped a unanimous decision to McGregor. That stat sheet might seem impressive to some, but it certainly isn’t for Aldo.
“I think he hasn’t fought the top guys in the division,” Aldo said. “When you look at it, they weren’t at the top. The top guys he fought were tough fights, which went all three rounds, always split decisions. So it’s not about the streak. It’s about who he fights.”
One of Holloway’s arguments against Aldo’s commitment to the fight has been his interest in other endeavors. Holloway even brought a soccer ball – a “gift” to Aldo – to a recent press conference. The Brazilian champ, on his end, has also spoken about his issues with a contract that doesn’t allow him to compete in other sports – something that contributed to a later-changed decision to retire.
Aldo now says he’ll fulfill his five-fight contract. But after conversations in which UFC President Dana White indicated Aldo would be able to try his hand at other sports in Brazil, the Brazilian hopes to give that a go. First, he needs to get past UFC 212, but if a deal is made, he’d be ready to start boxing from scratch.
“I have a career planned out,” Aldo said. “Who to train with, with whom to do my debut against, agent, everything. So the only thing on the way is the contract I have with the UFC, but if I were free, I’d have everything planned out.”
It’s hard to miss the irony in the fact that, meanwhile, the only man to ever beat him in the octagon is reportedly negotiating astronomic figures for a fight with boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. In that regard, Aldo has already expressed that, first, he doesn’t think that the fight is happening. And even if it does, he doesn’t think McGregor would have a shot anyway.
When it comes to McGregor’s octagon career, Aldo is no longer publicly conjecturing about a rematch to avenge his first loss in more than a decade. In fact, Aldo has no space in his mind for the Irishman at this point. If it seems like McGregor is in every single conversation, Aldo said, it’s simply because we keep putting him there.
“He’s not everywhere – it’s people who say that,” Aldo said. “To me, it sucks. I don’t even answer because this has nothing to do with me. My career is going somewhere else. If he didn’t want to fight me, too bad. It’s his problem. I’m the champion again. I’m going to do my first defense again.
“I’m going into my second fight since that one to me. So to me, it doesn’t matter what he’s doing or anything. The only time I remember it is when you guys ask me. (It’s) always the same.”
For more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.
Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
View full post on News | MMAjunkie