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Coach explains why Jose Aldo didn’t throw many leg kicks against Max Holloway

Max Holloway countered Jose Aldo's leg kick right away, forcing the Brazilian fighter to change his strategy
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Jose Aldo lost the UFC featherweight championship Saturday night, and many people wondered by he only threw one of his traditional leg kicks, and didn't go for takedowns against Max Holloway at UFC 212.

Aldo was ahead on the scorecards after the first two rounds, especially after rocking Holloway in the opening round in Rio de Janeiro. Holloway though came back strong in the third, dropping the champion and punishing him on the ground until referee "Big" John McCarthy stopped the championship fight.

The Brazilian star wasn’t happy with the stoppage when McCarthy ended the bout, but his head coach Andre Pederneiras said afterwards that Aldo will change his mind as soon as he watches the tape.

"He thought Big John stopped it early, but I don’t have the same opinion,” Pederneiras told Combate. "I’m sure that, when he watches the video, he will change his mind. I saw no way how he would recover in the fourth round after so many punches to the head. It would be hard Holloway not to hunt him after that."

Asked why Aldo didn’t throw kicks or went for takedowns in the fight, Pederneiras admitted that the fighter didn’t use everything he trained.

"Holloway started to feel more confident in the end of the second round,” Pederneiras said. "He was more confident, but Aldo was fine. I said it was 2-0, that he should breathe, and I gave him the instruction about the left hand that was low. It was clear that Holloway’s game was over his low left hand.

"I think Aldo didn’t do some things that we trained, like takedowns, for an example. And when you don’t use all your weapons, it gets complicated. Many people asked why he didn’t kicked, but, considering Holloway’s stance in the fight, there was the risk of Aldo throwing a kick and falling back down.”

Pederneiras wouldn’t make any decision regarding Aldo’s future right after the fight, but doesn’t believe he’s too far from another shot at the gold despite two losses in his last three fights.

"You have to put your head in the pillow and relax, because the athlete can’t make any decisions after a loss like this. Nothing good ever comes out,” Pederneiras said. "He will play foot volley and relax. We’ll talk later. He’ll go on a vacation and relax. Actually, Aldo has a really good head. There was the (Conor) McGregor loss and right after he had the title fight with Frankie (Edgar), he went there and delivered. When he has his head well, he’ll come back to win.

"Max had a great achievement for the division, defeating an athlete who’s there for a long time, UFC champion, and I believe his next fight will be against Frankie Edgar. If Frankie wins, Aldo is back in a title fight, especially because he already beat him twice."

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