When José Aldo stepped up on stage at the Ricoh Centre to meet up with the other six UFC champions he was a kind of dizzy. He was weak with hunger from shedding pounds to weigh in a few minutes later. “He’s hungry for victory,” whispered training partner on team Nova União Marlon Sandro.
After making weight the Amazonas native nicknamed “Scarface” by fans went to his hotel room, where he has been in concentration since his arrival on Thursday and didn’t come out even to watch his beloved team Flamengo on TV at a Brazilian restaurant on Wednesday. He opted to surf the internet instead.
After weigh-ins he took to rest and slowly nourished him back to strength. This is the time when team Nova União works on another important aspect: the codewords they use during the fight.
“When he fought Faber, yelling instructions in Portuguese was no good because he does Jiu-Jitsu, he understands some, and there are always Brazilians in his corner. These days there’s always a Brazilian in everyone’s corner, so we developed a system of codewords. In the days before the fight we pass them on to him for him to remember them automatically in the octagon,” says Marlon.
How about an example, Marlon? “You’ve never heard us shouting ‘Nas coxinhas, nas coxinhas!’ before?” (meaning “on the skinny thighs”), said Marlon, “That’s a codeword for a move.” So if you hear some nonsense being spouted, reader, don’t get confused. It’s Aldo getting ready to go into full gear.