Jose Aldo (left) file photo: Dave Mandel | Sherdog.com
Sherdog’s Gleidson Venga had a chat with WEC featherweight champion Jose Aldo as he prepared for his title defense against Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51 on Thursday at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colo. Here’s what the champ had to say about his training, his opponent and his teammates.
Sherdog.com: How are you feeling coming into this title defense?
Aldo: I'm very focused. I did most of my training in Brazil, but I came to the United States several weeks ago to adapt to the altitude [of Broomfield, Colo.]. We're fine. Everything is perfect.
Sherdog.com: How did you prepare for the altitude difference?
Aldo: I planned out my training so that I could adapt to the altitude here. We arrived here two weeks prior to the fight so I could end my training camp at altitude. Thank God the training has gone well, and everything is perfect. Now, I'm very focused for this fight.
Sherdog.com: You took several training partners with you, did you not?
Aldo: Yes, I brought Diego Nunes, who also will fight, Marlon Sandro, Luis “BeiÃ§Ã£o” Ramos and Leonardo Santos. They're all here with me.
Sherdog.com: And your opponent, have you identified his strengths?
Aldo: The guy is tough. He is a good wrestler and a hard counter puncher, but I am prepared after my training.
Sherdog.com: Were you surprised to see him defeat Mike Thomas Brown?
Aldo: It’s fighting, and I think that fighting is [unpredictable] like that. If he surprises me [and wins our fight], I guess that’s the truth. In my opinion, Mike was the favorite, but [Gamburyan] caught him with a good shot and gave Mike no chance to recover.
Sherdog.com: Your training partner, Diego Nunes, will also fight that night. How is he doing coming into his fight?
Aldo: He's fine. He also did work in Brazil and trained there with us. He is focused and has a good mindset [going into this fight]. I think he will be all right.
Sherdog.com: The card will feature several good fights, and your fight is once again the main event. What do you think of this card?
Aldo: It’s an excellent card. I think it is the first time the WEC has come to Colorado, so they wanted to put together a good card to draw a lot of attention.
Sherdog.com: How do you see the UFC lightweight division shaping up after [Frankie Edgar’s] defeat of B.J. Penn? Do you have any aspirations to fight at 155?
Aldo: I have to wait and see. I also have to talk to [my coach] André Pederneiras on the subject. I have to do my job [right now], and in time we will see what is best for me. If they think it is better, I’ll go up to lightweight, but if not I’ll stay at 145. There will be no problem.
Sherdog.com: In recent months, your Nova UniÃ£o teammates Marlon Sandro [SRC featherweight championship] and Luis “BeiÃ§Ã£o” Ramos [Shooto South American 168-pound champion] have won world titles. Ho do you see these achievements?
Aldo: [Those title wins] are a result of the hard work we’ve been doing for a long time and the partnership we have as teammates. We all train with great fighters and I think more championships may come soon. Many fighters, who are not champions today, will soon be enshrined. Nevertheless, we must keep our feet on the ground and work hard to make sure everything goes well.
Sherdog.com: How important is [coach] Pederneiras to you guys? We were just talking about new titles and champions. How important is he in that process?
Aldo: It is a relationship of trust. He is the master. We rely on him. He’s the one who calls the shots, and it works great. If you train under someone, you must have great faith. Even if you are good, you still need a trainer. That’s even truer when you consider Dedé’s [Pederneiras’s] experience. He is always there to say something important. He is always with us and he is a fundamental part of our training. He looks at the practices and says what's good for me, for Marlon, BeiÃ§Ã£o, [Leonardo Santos] and everybody else training there. He is a great person and is essential for us all.