UFC featherweight champion, the Brazilian Jose Aldo had successfully defended his belt on the division on his debut, in UFC 129, which happened in Canada, and didn’t let us down. The BJJ black belt gave a great first step into the organization and, after a five-round battle, defeated the Canadian Mark Hominick in front of 55 thousand people, on the biggest UFC event ever. On an exclusive interview with TATAME, the featherweight talked about the bout, said that it was all under control on the last round and believes that the doctors should have stopped the fight due to the huge hematoma on the Canadian’s face. Aldo also commented on his game plan of taking Hominick down, talked about the rumors of a possible bout with the so far undefeated Chad Mendes, among many other things, that you can check all right here below.
How would you evaluate your first belt defense in UFC? Did everything go like you hoped to?
It was my best belt defense, including the ones in WEC. I wanted to debut earlier, but God blessed me and made things happen on its right time. We do all our work, we fought for five rounds and, on a fight, you ought to be ready for anything.
Andre Pederneiras confirmed that you had some infection on your feet before the fight. Did you fight while injured?
I was 1000%. Injuries is a common thing when you’re an athlete, and it didn’t affect me at all. The treatment we did it was good. If I hadn’t done it, then it would might have been a problem, but I did everything right and I had a cut in my feet, but I was trained, so it didn’t bothered me at all… That’s nothing.
Did you feel like the time you spend without fighting had any influence with what happened in there?
Not to me. I fought like I always do. Don’t fighting for a long time only gave me time to get stronger and get there and do my job. I guess that, the more you stay without fighting, the more you want to get in there and prove your work’s been done just fine.
And that huge hematoma on Hominick’s head… Was you worried about it? Did you think it should have been stopped the fight? Did you hesitated on punching it afraid that it might explode?
That hematoma was really scary, it was huge. I didn’t want to get it exploded at all. I guess the bout should be finished. If it was any other guy, they would have stopped it. But, it happens… They didn’t do it so we kept on fighting each other and he proved to have a huge heart, he was a big warrior succeeding on fighting until the end of its five rounds, taking me down, fighting until the very end. It was awesome. It only made the bout even more awesome. I liked it, but I think they should have stopped it, because it was huge, and having it on his head put him in a dangerous position.
You showed the world a part of your game we all didn’t get to know it much, which is your Wrestling game. You did a great job taking him down… Did you came with the strategy of taking him down and working on your powerful ground and pound?
Absolutely. That was the game plan: take him down, so that when he returned to the stand-up game he wouldn’t be on his best. As I told you, in MMA we have to use everything we’ve got: we have to know to fight on the floor, standing up and taking people down… Today, if you want to be a champion, you have to know what to do in any situation, you have to be prepared for anything that might happen. Whenever I fight, I make sure I’m prepared to strike, to fight on the ground, wherever it takes us.
On that fifth round, he got you with your back against the floor and started working the ground and pound. Andre told us it was under control, but people started to fear that maybe you would be hit be a killer punch on your chin and you couldn’t be knocked out. What really happened in there?
It was like Andre said, it was all under control. We got me prepared at the gym, and I trained with many guys, with the fight taking place on the floor, with me from the top and with my back against the floor, but everybody was saying that I was looking tired, that I was taking antibiotics… The truth is that I hit him with a hook and as he felt, he grabbed my legs and I tried to fit guillotine choke, grab his neck, and then I fell with him on top of me, but it was all right.
I was feeling fine, blocking his punches with my legs. Sure many times he found me, but it’s a fight, so I was cool with it. Many people say I looked tired, but my breathe was ok, I just was fighting my fifth round, so we don’t have the same strength that you do on the first round. He could have punched me in the chin while we were in that saturation, but on the fifth round, he’s not as strong as he is on the beginning of the fight. I had already won, I just had to keep things going on the fifth round and I told Dede I was fine, so he was cool too.
The ending of that fight was historical, when you both did that push-ups, which is Hominick’s thing, just to prove you both could still go on. What was that? Was it a mutual demonstration of respect?
He always does some push-ups when it’s over and I did it to please him. The only thing was that I did it with my wrists and closed hands and he did it with open hands. It was a little show there, I guess it’s a part of the lobby, it’s business.
Have you already stamped another head on your shoulder? (Aldo has tattooed on his shoulders skulls which represents the opponents he’s defeated)
I wish, I didn’t have time for it yet, but I have to prepare one good one, because after this great fight I will have to make it special to represent the greatness of this bout. Of course I’ll “honor” Hominick.
There are people saying you might fight Chad Mendes, a guys who, so far, is undefeated… Will it indeed happen? There are rumors it might happen in UFC Rio.
Man, I know nothing about it. It’s not my thing. My thing is to go back to my trainings and let it too my managers to decide. Now I’ll return to the trainings and wait.
But do you know this guy people are talking about? Andre said it might happen, but didn’t confirm if it will or not. If it does happen, do you know anything about his game, have you thought about a game plan to use against him?
Abolutely. If it’s him, I’ve seen many of his fights, so I know a little about his game. I’ve met his a few times on the backstage, so it’d be good that he set a good game plan to fight him. But, meanwhile, I haven’t even got back to training yet. I got suspended by the Athletic Commission, so only in thirty days from now. Then, I’ll start training again.
Do you hope to fight in UFC Rio, in front of all people you know?
Not only me, but all Brazilian fighters want it. I want to, but I guess this card is already closed, and there’s already a title fight, so it’s not much likely to have two. So… But let’s see, let’s wait to find it out.
Feel free to leave a message…
I want you all to feel hugged. Thank you for cheering and supporting me. I wanted to thank you because I don’t fight only for me, I do it for my fans too.
BTW, just realized that the thread title suggested that it is Hominick who is getting a tattoo. Of course it's Aldo getting tattooed as he has the head of every opponent he's defeated tattooed on him