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Jose Aldo is set to fight Max Holloway in the headliner of UFC 218, a rematch of their last fight at UFC 212, in which Max took Aldo’s featherweight title. After that bout, Aldo’s coach, Andre Pederneiras, mentioned that Aldo didn’t kick much because he had an injury to his leg in camp. Holloway took exception to that excuse:
“That was kind of cowardly to me,” Holloway said. “To say something like that and take away from someone’s win. I’ve never taken away from someone’s win. I just thought it was silly. Hopefully, he doesn’t have an injury this time, and hopefully he kicks more. Kicks don’t — the guy was dead tired in the second round. There’s a feeling in there when a guy is falling off,” he added.
“His mouth was open. I was able to taunt him. I Stockton-slapped him, and from then on I knew, ‘Wow, this guy is not really moving anymore.’ That was the time to turn up the heat, and that’s what we did.”
Aldo was quick to disavow any excuses made by him or on his behalf after the first bout. He spoke today with reporters in Brazil, via MMAFighting.com:
“I don’t think there was any cowardice,” Aldo said. “Every time I’m in there that’s the best Aldo possible. Holloway was a great fighter that night and was able to win. He deserved it. There’s no excuse. ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) talked about it because it happened in training, but if I’m in there, that’s the best Aldo available. There’s no excuse. He won because he deserved to win.
Andre Pederneiras echoed Aldo’s tone:
“I want to make something clear that Aldo didn’t say anything, I was the one who said that,” Pederneiras said. “I was asked why Aldo got tired and mentioned it. I never diminished Holloway’s win. If he had a good leg or not, the punch would’ve landed and he would’ve gone down the same way. The leg didn’t make him go down. We never diminished Holloway’s win, we praised him for the way be became champion.”
This time around, Aldo says he has no major injuries:
“I’m in perfect conditions,” Aldo said. “There are always small injuries, but nothing that takes any weapon away. I’m kicking, punching, I’m doing everything now. There are no serious injuries. You can expect the best kickboxing, the best muay thai. I will walk forward the entire time. I want to kick a lot in this fight. I want to put my hands as well, everything I learned recently, I want to go in there and do it.”
“I’ll smother him from beginning to the end, and he will have to worry about his defense. I always saw the attack as the best defense, so I was holding myself back, thinking ‘he has this strong point,’ and that harmed me. Not anymore. I want to go in there and be myself, be who I always were. That’s what I want.
As far as letting the previous loss affect him, Aldo says he has accepted it. What motivates him is getting his belt back.
“If you fight all the time you can lose one day, so (the loss) is not stuck in my throat,” he added. “The belt is no longer with me, so that makes me more motivated to train and get it back. Holloway is just another one that I will win.”
This is a fantastic bantamweight bout in the works between Jimmie Rivera and John Lineker:
Justin Gaethje training footage ahead of his fight with Eddie Alvarez. Gaethje will either be a superstar or will lose by KO.
There is another Dana White… working in the Pentagon:
Poirier is already back in the gym working:
Team Tiny indeed!
Didn’t Amanda Nunes already do this?
Felice Herrig? What are you doing?
I spoke to Nic Davenport, @Mrmentalmuscle, about the cognitive conditioning he does with athletes at American Top Team. Look at Poirier’s reflexes:
Marc Diakese hitting lights to improve cognitive capacity:
Combat sports this weekend:
Slips, Rips, and KO Clips
Despite his made-up name, he’s a great fighter.
Here’s another made-up name:
Ben Askren fights exactly like your big brother:
So does Shinya Aoki, for that matter:
What a comeback from Tyrone Spong. This is a classic.
Podcasts and Video
AJ is sick this week, so Andrew discusses fight psychology and cognitive conditioning with Nic Davenport, @MrMentalMuscle on Twitter and Instagram, who works with a number of American Top Team fighters, including Dustin Poirier, Marc Diakese and Santiago Ponzinibbio. We take a deep dive into cognitive conditioning, fight preparation, and the effect of personality on performance.
UFC Fight Night 121 Highlights: Follow MMA Mania on Youtube
One sad thing and two funny things about modern life:
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