Attempting to defend his UFC featherweight title, Jose Aldo took on surging contender Max Holloway in the main event of this past weekend’s (June 3, 2017) UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aldo started off strong, possibly winning the first two rounds, but he then ended up on the wrong end of a brutal combination from Holloway in the third round that sent him crashing to the canvas. “Blessed” followed up with a flurry of strikes, forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Aldo’s longtime head coach Andre Pederneiras said that he was content with the stoppage despite the fact that Aldo felt as if it was early:
“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.”
After watching the fight unfold, many had wondered why Aldo didn’t throw more of his patented leg kicks. Speaking on that topic, Pederneiras admits that “Scarface” didn’t use all of his weapons:
“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.”
After suffering his second stoppage loss in his last three fights, Aldo’s future is currently unclear. Pederneiras didn’t have a clear answer as to what’s next for the now former champion, but he doesn’t feel as if we’ve seen the end of Aldo either:
“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.”
What do you make of Pederneiras’ assessment of Aldo’s performance?