RIO DE JANEIRO -- Jose Aldo is the last non-American UFC champion, but he’s not worried about it.
Set to headline Saturday night’s UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, against Chad Mendes, the Nova Uniao featherweight is not thinking about what this fight means to the future of MMA in his country.
"I try to forget this," Aldo told the media after Thursday’s workouts at Maracana stadium. "It’s Jose Aldo in there, I want to do my job, believe in what I do. Winning the fight, I carry the whole world on my shoulders."
Being the Brazilian fighting in Rio de Janeiro has its privileges, though. Aldo finished both opponents he’s fought in Rio, including a first-round knockout over Mendes in 2012, and he’s planning to go 3-0 in Rio with another finish on Saturday night.
"This support is wonderful. Fighting with this crowd backing me up… I get even more excited and confident," Aldo said. "It will be sold out on Saturday night, everybody celebrating and fighting with me. I’m going through (Mendes) like a runaway truck."
Aldo and Mendes have some heated pre-fight interviews going into this fight, but Aldo won’t let trash talk affect his performance.
"I’m only thinking about winning the fight," he said. "I’m well trained, physically well, and my head is good. It’s time to go there and do my job. They are talking a lot, but I’m not much of a talker. I will go there and do what I do. Even parrots talk. I don’t care about what they say."