José Aldo talks Anthony Pettis, possible fight with Benson Henderson at Maracanã

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José Aldo says he would like to face Bendo at crowded Maracanã. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The routine of Jose Aldo, featherweight champion of the UFC, is always fast-paced. In the midst of travel, fans and the always-tough training sessions at Nova União, Aldo booked five minutes of his busy schedule to chat with GRACIEMAG about his next opponent, consecutive “supermatches” and Ben Henderson’s request to face him at a soccer stadium.

During the chat at the end of a long day at Nova União, Aldo said he hasn’t begun to outline a strategy for his fight scheduled for Aug. 3 against Pettis yet. The champion examined the ground work of his opponent, and said he is not intimidated by the fact that he is sharpening his Jiu-Jitsu.

“I think he trains Jiu-Jitsu more to defend himself,” Aldo said of Pettis. “His game is not on the ground. He has to work well on the ground to be able to use his stand-up game. His Jiu-Jitsu is better. But I also make good use of my Jiu-Jitsu. If I play well standing up it is because if it goes to the ground, I’m confident and I submit.”

When asked about the fact that the UFC just scheduled supermatches for him, Aldo talked about the injustice done to the athletes of the division, but stresses that he works for the UFC and that he is ready to “do what he is told.”

“The UFC guys are the bosses, we are employees,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair if a guy who just got to the division [immediately gets] a chance to battle for the belt. It’s good for me because it praises the division and my career as an athlete, but it isn’t cool for those who  have strived in the division for a long time, looking for a shot to fight for the belt. But I just want to keep winning and doing my part. If I had a company, I’d send my employee to do something and he would have to do it, right?”

Still on the supermatches, Aldo talked about his next possible fight with the champion of the lightweight division, Henderson. Aldo didn’t fail to remember that his focus is on the fight against Pettis, but talked about “Bendo” as an athlete, and on the willingness of the American to fight him at a Brazilian soccer stadium.

“Ben Henderson is such a nice person. I’ve known him since the now-extinct WEC,” he said. “We had several fights during the same night. We cheered for each other in our fights. He said he dreams of fighting in Brazil. It will be great if that happens. If it happens at a soccer stadium it would be even better. Maracanã will already be renovated. It could be by the end of the year or early next year. It would be a great show.”

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