MENU
#Conor McGregor #UFC Fight Night 83 #Nate Diaz #Jon Jones #Luke Rockhold #David Branch #Michael Bisping #UFC 215 #UFC Japan


jose-aldo-30.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

RIO DE JANEIRO – It takes a small army of security personnel to usher Jose Aldo into the van that awaits the UFC’s featherweight titleholder. Along the way, he answers as many reporters’ questions as possible, smiles for camera click after camera click and signs a few dozen autographs.

Thursday’s swirl of activity follows a three-hour engagement in which Aldo participated in a news conference, put on a public workout session that featured a soundtrack by a live rock band and then waded through a sea of fans and reporters to answer even more questions as microphones, cameras and recorders were shoved in his face.

It was time for Aldo to retreat to his hotel, but his removal from the scene was anything but easy.

“You get more experienced with fighting, and you get more experienced with everything else that goes with it, too,” Aldo told USA TODAY Sports and MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through a translator. “I’m OK with it. Just go in there and do my job. I feel like that makes me more comfortable with everything.”

In his native Brazil, Aldo is a superstar, plain and simple. But in a country that has produced some of the most recognizable figures in all of MMA — including Junior dos Santos, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva — there is something different about Aldo’s position in the spotlight. He’s the people’s champion, as well.

“I feel like they relate to my life story, actually,” Aldo said. “They feel like I’m one of them, like I came from nowhere and I became the champion. I believe they feel like it’s a mirror and that they see themselves in me.”

Like many in Brazil, Aldo was raised in humble surroundings. As a teenager, he relocated from Manaus to Rio de Janeiro, reluctantly giving up on his dream of playing professional soccer in order to train MMA.

He turned pro in 2004, losing once in 23 career contests, and became the UFC’s first, and so far only, 145-pound champion.

Aldo (22-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC) puts his belt on the line Saturday against “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung (13-3 MMA, 3-0 UFC), in the main event of UFC 163 at Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena (pay-per-view, 10 p.m. ET). But in the days before his fight, Aldo is asked as much about Brazilian policy as he is about his opponent.

Rising ticket prices for soccer matches in the country? Aldo thinks they should be lowered to allow common people to enjoy the sport along with the elite. Protesters taking to the street to push for improvements in education and medical care? Aldo believes it’s a positive move, as long as the statements are made in a peaceful fashion.

It’s an intriguing balance for the man who sits at No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com pound-for-pound MMA rankings.

With more success comes more responsibility and increased expectations. It’s a pressure that has caused more than one former UFC champion to admit there was a sense of relief after finally losing the title. But Aldo welcomes the challenge.

“I want to be the best,” Aldo said. “That’s the goal. That’s what feeds me, what drives me and makes me want to keep practicing. But it’s just as important for me to always remain connected to the people. This is not just me but also my team and my trainers.

“Hopefully, we’ll never stop being grounded people.”

For more on UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Galleries

Jose Aldo Fights

  • a year ago
  • 4714 views

Comments

Show Comments

Related News

Video: UFC 215, UFC 216 media day face-offs, where Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee get heated

  • 29 days ago
  • 26 views

The UFC today hosted a media event to promote September’s UFC 216 and October’s UFC 217 fight cards, which feature three championship bouts in total. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC Fight Night 119's Colby Covington

  • 24 days ago
  • 2 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 pm ET with guest Colby Covington, who fights Demian Maia at UFC Fight Night 119 in October.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC and 7-Eleven, Inc. Sign Sponsorship Agreement

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced a new agreement with 7-Eleven®, the world’s largest convenience store chain, in which the industry-leader will serve as the read news >>

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Cynthia Calvillo, Fernando Gonzalez

  • 23 days ago
  • 4 views

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 pm ET with UFC strawweight contender Cynthia Calvillo and Bellator 182 winner Fernando Gonzalez.Filed under: Bellator, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

UFC and Kitman Labs Launch Innovative Sports Science Program

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC® and Kitman Labs® today announced a multi-year partnership to deliver an innovative sports science and medicine program to all athletes competing under the UFC banner as they visit the UFC Perfor read news >>

Reminder: Tickets on sale today for UFC 216 in Las Vegas; here's the latest card

  • 22 days ago
  • 16 views

As a reminder, tickets go on sale to the general public today for the UFC’s next “Sin City” pay-per-view: UFC 216.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Video: Watch today's UFC Fight Night 115 ceremonial weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at noon ET

  • 22 days ago
  • 21 views

UFC Fight Night 115 ceremonial fighter weigh-ins take place today. Watch a live stream here on MMAjunkie at noon ET.Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

How to watch UFC-Rotterdam today: Fight card, start time, online results, how to stream Volkov vs. Struve

  • 20 days ago
  • 61 views

The UFC returns to the Netherlands today with UFC Fight Night 115, and here’s how to watch the event from Ahoy Rotterdam.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Watch Amanda Nunes Take Out Sheila Gaff in UFC Debut (UFC 215 Free Fight) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 18 days ago
  • 21 views

Check out Amanda Nunes' UFC debut in Rio De Janeiro at UFC 163 back in 2013. Nunes faces Valentina Shevchenko in the co-main event at UFC 215 on Saturday. read news >>

Jose Aldo Wants to Finish Fights in UFC Contract to Start Boxing, Coach Says

  • 23 days ago
  • 13 views

Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo may soon follow in the footsteps of Conor McGregor and take his talents to the boxing ring. "He’s training boxing because he has this dream of competing in read news >>