If you’ve followed the rise (and subsequent decline) of featherweight powerhouse Jose Aldo Jr. over the last decade, you know by now that the hard-hitting Brazilian has been plagued with two things: brutal weight cuts and injuries. According to Aldo’s longtime coach and friend Andre Pederneiras, Aldo’s TKO loss to Max Holloway was no different.
One thing that puzzled fans and fighters alike was the overall lack of leg kicks by Aldo, which have been his calling card over the years. After the fight Pederneiras stated that they didn’t throw many leg kicks out of fear that Holloway would counter with punches. But during a later interview with Fox fight club, Pederneiras said that it was in fact a leg injury sustained ten days before the fight that prevented Aldo from throwing his famous devastating leg kicks:
Every fight the athlete enters he has some kind of injury, and Aldo is no different, he has his. Many people asked why he didn’t kicked. Aldo has a leg injury, so he couldn’t throw kicks or run during his entire camp. That doesn’t take anything away from Max Holloway’s win, we don’t want to say that. It was even funny because we would go back (outside the Octagon) between rounds the crowd said ‘tell him to kick,’ but we, the cornermen, were the only aware of it. We avoided the kicks because of this injury. We were afraid it would strain his muscle. He spent his entire camp working on his boxing and his takedown, his ground game. Since Aldo felt well standing in the first rounds, he decided not to go for takedowns, but (Holloway’s) punch landed and everything changed. We could train his kicks a bit in the last week, but we didn’t force it too much. We believed that, the way he was going (in training), he would be able to win with his boxing. And that was happening.