Those who retrieve Jose Aldo’s epic five-year tally arsenic the apical featherweight connected the satellite whitethorn besides retrieve proceeding that cutting value wasn’t ever the smoothest acquisition for the Brazilian striker.
And those aforesaid radical mightiness — understandably — person been the astir amazed by Aldo’s determination down 10 pounds to bantamweight astatine the extremity of 2019. Two years and 4 fights later, he’s inactive successful the premix astatine the precocious levels of the UFC’s 135-pound rankings, consistently making value with arguably little trouble than helium had astatine 145.
Cutting retired pre-fight pizza and steak volition bash that.
“There were immoderate times that, earlier the fight, 1 week earlier the combat astatine featherweight, I would spell and devour pizza oregon spell to a steakhouse,” Aldo told The Post implicit the telephone Wednesday done an interpreter. “… Every fight. We were already celebrating beforehand.”
Those days are over, professes Aldo (30-7, 18 finishes) up of his “UFC connected ESPN” headliner against Rob Font connected Saturday nighttime (10 p.m. main card) astatine UFC Apex successful Las Vegas. The determination to bantamweight went hand-in-hand with what helium called “a mindset change” regarding his diet.
Aldo, who won the WEC featherweight crown (with nonstop lineage to the existent UFC title) from Mike Brown astatine property 23, pointed to younker arsenic portion of the crushed his pre-bout fare included foods galore fighters deprive themselves of for months up of a fight. But erstwhile his manager and manager Andre Pederneiras suggested helium instrumentality to 135 pounds (following a nonaccomplishment to eventual and existent 145-pound titleholder Alexander Volkanovski) for the archetypal clip since the aboriginal days of his 17-year career, helium knew it was clip to omniscient up astir what went into his assemblage up of fights.
“I was reeducating myself successful presumption of what I was going to devour and however I was going to train,” said Aldo, 35. “… I compromised that that was the mode to spell to bantamweight. And since I started doing things different, and my mindset was different, that was erstwhile everything changed. It’s not hard astatine each [to chopped weight].”
So, nary steakhouse visits this week. That’s for later.
“Now,” says Aldo, “it’s lone aft the fights.”
And if the Brazilian, who owns 1 of the astir spectacular résumés successful MMA’s young history, finds himself celebrating a triumph implicit Font (19-4, 12 finishes) post-fight astatine specified an establishment, he’ll beryllium 1 measurement person to his eventual extremity of a 2nd accidental astatine the bantamweight belt. The archetypal came past summertime — disconnected a constrictive divided determination nonaccomplishment to Marlon Moraes — erstwhile helium hung with Petr Yan for overmuch of 4 rounds before suffering a lopsided beatdown for the bulk of the 5th until enactment was halted with 96 seconds to go.
Yan is present the interim champion portion existent champ Aljamain Sterling, a Long Island native, recovers from cervix surgery. The analyzable concern — Sterling won the loop from Yan successful March via disqualification aft absorbing an amerciable genu and his instrumentality day remains up successful the aerial — leaves unclear whom Aldo could beryllium chasing to go a two-division champion.
Regardless, Aldo maintains helium is highly motivated to get UFC golden erstwhile again. He’s conscionable staying focused connected the combat successful beforehand of him and allowing the chips to autumn wherever they whitethorn astir him.
“I’d alternatively instrumentality 1 measurement astatine a time,” helium said. “I’m truly focused connected the belt, and I deliberation that this belt, it is going to marque my bequest larger than it is close now. I’m ever unfastened to caller things, whether it’s going to beryllium superfights oregon it’s gonna beryllium facing idiosyncratic new. I truly don’t know, but I don’t privation to deliberation astir this close now. I privation to instrumentality 1 measurement astatine a time.”