As reported by Janir Júnior today on the GloboEsporte.com website, Nova União featherweight José Aldo has sealed a year-long deal with his beloved soccer club. Negotiations between the UFC champion and Brazil’s most popular soccer team have been ongoing for the past year, while the UFC took the Brazilian media by storm. The club was holding out until the 2012 budget was defined in order to make an offer for Aldo, who is an ardent Flamengo supporter and fixture in the stands at home games.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve cheered, cried and followed Flamengo ever since I was a little kid, and that now I get to be part of this company is just marvelous. This moment marks another goal achieved in my career. I take this opportunity to send out my best to the black-and-red nation [Flamengo supporters]; I’m counting on you to be there at the HSBC Arena. I’m going to put on a show for you guys come the 14th,” said José Aldo, after receiving the title of honorary member and an official team jersey with his name on it from the hands of team president Patricia Amorim.
“He has shown his love for Flamengo on numerous occasions. We’ve had some prior meetings, but today we cemented the partnership. We’ve been courting for a long time now, and we finally had the wedding. José Aldo is Mengão [Flamengo]!” the club president declared this morning.
The fighter and his coach, Dedé Pederneiras, were at the team’s headquarters, in the Gávea borough of Rio de Janeiro, to sign the contract. Aldo’s first commitment to the club will be to wear the club’s colors into his next fight, the main event at UFC 142,on January 14 at the HSBC Arena, in the Barra da Tijuca part of Rio de Janeiro City. The contract stands until the end of 2012.
Aldo’s challenger, Chad Mendes, was prompted by his trainer Fabio Pateta to sport a Vasco team jersey, and the provocations should carry on until the bout reaches a conclusion.
Now what do you think, savvy reader, who takes the belt—Aldo or Mendes? Do you see the fight as a classic Flamengo vs. Vasco showdown? Comment below.