After spending more than a decade in the featherweight division, Jose Aldo will look to conquer the bantamweight division. Set to compete on “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, the process to get down there is stressful enough. Now, Aldo must forget everything he knows and make the transition from 145 to 135.
For the 33-year-old, however, it wasn’t that hard for a veteran to change his ways.
“These two days here in Sao Paulo are definitely gonna get in the way of my weight cut a little bit,” Aldo told ESPN, via MMA Junkie. “But I bought a rope to jump, and I’m gonna go in the jacuzzi in the room or whatever. I’m gonna be able to stay active, but I’m happy to be a part of this, and the cut for 135 has actually been a lot easier than it was at 145.”
Aldo (28-6) will be fighting for UFC Bantamweight gold. The former two-time UFC Featherweight Champion will face Petr Yan at UFC 251 on July 11. This will be Aldo’s second attempt at fighting for the title once held by Henry Cejudo. Originally booked for UFC 250 in Brazil, Aldo had to back out due to visa issues as a result of the coronavirus. Now, with the UFC’s travel schedule making it easy for him to fight, Aldo is ready to prove his doubters wrong.
A former WEC Featherweight Champion, Aldo was promoted to undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion when he made the transition to Dana White’s promotion. He defended the title seven times before losing it to Conor McGregor in 2015. Since then, Aldo won the interim (later undisputed) title against Frankie Edgar before losing it to Max Holloway in 2017. In his last seven fights, Aldo is 4-3, and he is 2-4 in his last six.
On a two-fight losing streak, Aldo lost his bantamweight debut in December to Marlon Moraes. Even in defeat, he impressed enough to earn a title shot. With a new mindset, it appears that Aldo is ready to go.
“We adapted everything for me to move down in weight so my nutrition and everything else, and I really feel like I rejuvenated my body,” Aldo went on to say. “It gave me a lot of energy, so I’m keeping my weight down more than I was before, and so that cut down to 135, I’m still feeling a lot better after that cut.”
The main event of UFC 251 will be Kamaru Usman v. Gilbert Burns for the UFC Welterweight Title. The co-main event will be Alexander Volkanovski facing Max Holloway in a rematch for the UFC Featherweight Title.