RIO DE JANEIRO — Max Holloway embraced the “bad guy” role leading up to his title unification bout with Jose Aldo at Saturday’s UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, but the undisputed champion isn’t sold on his confidence.
Speaking with the media in Brazil, on Thursday, Aldo said that Holloway behavior at the open workouts Wednesday, when he welcomed the boos and “you're going to die” chants from the crowd, shows how nervous he is.
"He’s f*cking scared. He never fought under this pressure,” Aldo said. "He gets nervous when the crowd puts pressure over him. It’s all lies. He doesn’t want to show (he’s scared).
"You don’t care about the crowd, you go there and do your job. I’ve fought in front of thousands of people and never responded to the crowd. I got there, did my job and left. When someone starts to show that it’s because he’s so nervous you can’t even imagine.”
Before they faced off in the end of the media day, the Brazilian said Holloway has changed his behavior after meeting him in person.
"He never went through this,” Also said. "He never experienced a fight like this, so important. Everything is new to him. You can see his attitude is different face to face. He’s nervous, you can see. He’s trying to show something he’s not.”
Holloway enters UFC 212 in a 10-fight winning streak, including finishes over Anthony Pettis, Charles Oliveira, Cub Swanson and Andre Fili, but Aldo is confident he’ll be the first to stop the Hawaiian talent in five years.
"I’ll go forward all the time, go after the victory,” Aldo said. "If it stays standing I’ll knock him out, connect several blows. But I’ve been training jiu-jitsu a lot, and if I have the chance on the ground I’ll catch him, for sure."