Jose Aldo wasn’t injury-free ahead of his UFC 212 title unification bout with Max Holloway.
“Scarface" met the Hawaiian talent on June 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lost via third-round TKO. Right after the defeat, Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras explained that his fighter didn’t throw many leg kicks because Holloway would counter with punches.
Ten days after the fight, “Dede" revealed that, in fact, Aldo had a leg injury that limited his training before UFC 212.
“Every fight the athlete enters he has some kind of injury, and Aldo is no different, he has his,” Pederneiras told Fox Fight Club. “Many people asked why he didn’t kicked. Aldo has a leg injury, so he couldn’t throw kicks or run during his entire camp.
“That doesn’t take anything away from Max Holloway’s win, we don’t want to say that,” he continued. “It was even funny because we would go back (outside the Octagon) between rounds the crowd said ‘tell him to kick,’ but we, the cornermen, were the only aware of it. We avoided the kicks because of this injury. We were afraid it would strain his muscle.”
Aldo only threw one leg kick during the fight, and Holloway countered. The Brazilian’s strategy was to use his hands, and even hurt his opponent once in the opening round.
“He spent his entire camp working on his boxing and his takedown, his ground game,” Pederneiras said. “Since Aldo felt well standing in the first rounds, he decided not to go for takedowns, but (Holloway’s) punch landed and everything changed.
“We could train his kicks a bit in the last week, but we didn’t force it too much. We believed that, the way he was going (in training), he would be able to win with his boxing. And that was happening.”
According to Pederneiras, the UFC is also aware of a neck injury that Aldo has, explaining why he doesn’t accepts fights with less than three months' notice. The Nova Uniao coach said the UFC is currently choosing his next opponent, and expects to get another crack at the belt with a win.