Jose Aldo’s long-time coach Andre Pederneiras has revealed the real reason behind the former champion’s surprising lack of kicks during his third round TKO loss to Max Holloway at UFC 212.
Heading into the pivotal title unification bout Aldo’s powerful leg kicks were expected to be a major factor, but in the end he didn’t use them at all, and it turns out that wasn’t a tactical error – it was a neccessity due to an injured leg he had nursed throughout his entire camp.
“Many people ask why he didn’t throw kicks – Aldo had a leg injury, so he couldn’t do any kicking throughout the camp; he couldn’t run, do any of that,” Pederneiras explained during a live chat on the FOX Fight Club Facebook page (translated from Portuguese). “Not that it takes away from Max Holloway and his win – we’re not saying that at all – but many people asked why he didn’t kick.
“It’s funny, because every round, I’d step down (from the octagon) and the crowd would be like, ‘Tell him to kick!’ and I’d say, ‘OK, hang on’ and I’d turn around and only us in the corner knew. We were really avoiding the kicks because of this injury. We were afraid (the muscle) would tear there.
“So we spent the entire camp working on boxing, takedowns and the ground. Since Aldo felt good in the first two rounds with the boxing – he won the first two – he said he’d keep it going there until a point in which he could take (Holloway) down, without worrying too much about taking him down then. But then a punch landed, and then it all fell apart.”