While his opponents can’t stamp their mark on his mug, José Aldo keeps getting his passport stamped, in his search for new training partners and challenges.
In the bone-chilling cold of Holland, Aldo has been keeping warm by training with one of his heroes, alongside his muay thai coach and training partner Johnny Eduardo (Boxe Thai/Nova União).
GRACIEMAG.com contacted the UFC featherweight champion, who spoke of the anxiousness of having his first fight in the world famous octagon, following the fusion of the UFC and the WEC, where he came to fame.
Find out what goes on in the head of the champ as he trains to defend his belt from Mark Hominick at home in Canada on April 30. Below, check out some of Jose Aldo Junior’s career highlights.
How is training in Holland going for UFC 129?
Training is going great, both Johnny and I are learning a lot from the folks here, where everyone’s a standup expert. There’s nothing better than training with one of your heroes – I always liked Andy Souwer’s style at K-1 Max, and training with him here was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
You went to Haiti, now you’re in Holland. Where will you do the final part of your preparations to face Hominick?
I’ll return to Brazil soon, then I won’t travel any more. I’ll do the last part of my training in Rio up until I travel to Canada. I insist on doing my final preparations for my fights with my team and friends from training; I won’t trade that for anything.
What is most dangerous about Hominick?
He has his strong points, which may be his standup. As soon as I get back to Brazil I’m going to sit down, watch some of his fights and study him better. Now here, with Andy, we’re already working on some things I’ve noticed about my opponent. But in Brazil, along with Dedé (Pederneiras) and our team, we’re going to put together the final training plan and strategy. We’ll work based not just on his game, but mine too (laughs)…
Are you at all anxious about this fight in particular?
Yes, I’m plenty anxious to fight in the UFC for the first time. But it has a lot more to do with UFC fans, the ones who don’t know me yet, and for my admirers who are waiting for this moment. Deed down inside I feel like it will be another fight, another challenge like the rest, and I’m going to train the way I have for all my other fights up until now. In other words, I’m going to train a lot.
What did you learn from witnessing the situation in Haiti up close?
My experience in Haiti was very worthwhile. Just to have participated in the goodwill mission added a lot for me. I was kind of shocked by what I found there, but it just made me more thankful for what I have and reinforced the impression I already had in my head.