There was a lot at stake when crosstown rivals Vasco and Flamengo squared off in the last round of the Brazilian national soccer league. There was a special fan in the stands that day at Engenhão stadium. José Aldo watched on amid the thousands of other fans crowding the stadium as the two teams played to a draw, and he was satisfied.
Now, though, he will actually be Flamengo, when he steps into the octagon January 14 to defend his featherweight crown from Chad Mendes.
The news is that Chad was adopted by the organized fan club of Aldo’s rival team. “They sent me a jersey, a cap and a ribbon. I just received them here in California. They sent a number of items. José Aldo is a Flamengo fan, and we’re Vasco fans. It will go off,” said Fabio Pateta, Mendes’s Jiu-Jitsu coach, in an interview on Terra website.
“That photo where he’s posing in a Vasco jersey was taken before the fight had been made. It belongs to my Jiu-Jitsu coach, who’s a Vasco fanatic. I didn’t want to offend anyone, but I saw some Vasco games and like the team. I root for them,” said the diplomatic challenger.
Aldo, a passionate Flamengo fan, has always been a member of the team’s organized fan club, and a proposal to sponsor him is being reviewed by the club and may be resolved in early 2012.
What takes it, dear reader: Aldo or Mendes? Flamengo or Vasco?
HSBC Arena, Rio de Janeiro
January 14, 2012
José Aldo vs Chad Mendes
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