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Jose Aldo is motivated to make history at UFC 251.
During an interview with journalists Ana Hissa and Marcelo Russio broadcast on ”Giro Combate,” the former featherweight king discussed his 135-pound title clash with Petr Yan shortly after arriving in Abu Dhabi.
“I always dreamed of winning a belt in another division, and after I reached the bantamweight category with no problems, that motivated me a lot,” Aldo said. “I’ve been training really hard since January, once I was supposed to fight with [Henry] Cejudo. You won't believe how well trained I´m for this fight."
The former UFC featherweight champion also talked about his adaptation to the new weight class.
“I’m feeling better than ever,” Aldo said. “I adapted my body again and that changed my whole life for the better. And I’m talking not only about professional life but also my personal life. Today I’m a new Aldo who has a much better life. You can bet I’m much stronger and faster than anyone in that division in the UFC.”
With Nova Uniao only open to himself and Leonardo Santos due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Aldo was able to train in relative seclusion – without the distraction of fans and media.
"I live very close to the academy and it was just opened for us,” he said. “Nobody was bothering us. Only my partners were training in the academy, which made this one of the best camps of my career. I pushed myself so hard every sparring session and at the end of training, I went to the running machine to push my cardio.”
Aldo also briefly discussed Petr Yan’s visit to Brazil four years ago, and he said there’s a reason why the Russian has kept relatively quiet in the buildup to UFC 251.
"He came to Nova União when I was going to fight against Frankie Edgar. Very young, very raw in the ground. But he was welcomed as any other foreigner who came to help our camps,” Aldo said. “So I don't see any reason for him to say bad things about me. I also went to Russia and he welcomed me there too. But that´s our job.
“We are both in a quest for a dream and when the Octagon door closes, we will do our best to beat each other. I studied a lot of his fights. I know what he does. I trained a lot of kickboxing for this fight, and all I can say is that you will see me looking for knockout all the time. And I´m not talking only about Yan, but anyone you put in front of me. It can be a K-1 champion or a wrestler. I´ll fight having fun, like WEC times, looking for the knock out all the time."
Aldo dismissed the possibility of winning the UFC bantamweight crown and then retiring immediately thereafter.
“I recovered my motivation and I´m not planning to stop soon,” he said. “Many fighters sign their contracts and believe they need more money after each win. That´s definitely not my case, I´m very happy with my contract renewal. After I beat Petr, I want to fight one more time this year and maybe next year make more two fights and finish my career at 35 years old. That´s how I´ve always dreamed about finishing my career in the UFC.”
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