I’m not going to make a blanket statement and say that every Brazilian who loses in the cage will make damn sure you know it was because of a pre-existing injury or illness, but…
…Hey, guess what? Turns out Jose Aldo had a leg injury when he got clobbered by Max Holloway at UFC 212. Yes, Aldo was a warrior for getting in there, and he almost pulled off the win in the first when he rattled the Hawaiian with strikes. However, lest you think Holloway fought the best Aldo possible, there’s this, from Aldo’s coach.
As per MMAFighting:
“Every fight the athlete enters he has some kind of injury, and Aldo is no different, he has his,” Pederneiras told Fox Fight Club. “Many people asked why he didn’t kicked. Aldo has a leg injury, so he couldn’t throw kicks or run during his entire camp.
“That doesn’t take anything away from Max Holloway’s win, we don’t want to say that,” he continued. “It was even funny because we would go back (outside the Octagon) between rounds the crowd said ‘tell him to kick,’ but we, the cornermen, were the only aware of it. We avoided the kicks because of this injury. We were afraid it would strain his muscle.”
Aldo only threw one leg kick during the fight, and Holloway countered. The Brazilian’s strategy was to use his hands, and even hurt his opponent once in the opening round.
“We could train his kicks a bit in the last week, but we didn’t force it too much. We believed that, the way he was going (in training), he would be able to win with his boxing. And that was happening.”
According to Pederneiras, the UFC is also aware of a neck injury that Aldo has, explaining why he doesn’t accepts fights with less than three months’ notice. The Nova Uniao coach said the UFC is currently choosing his next opponent, and expects to get another crack at the belt with a win.