Nova Uniao coach Andre Pederneiras explains the lack of leg kicks from Jose Aldo in his UFC 212 loss to Max Holloway.
For a man whose vaunted leg kicks were a major factor in his rise to the top of the featherweight division, former UFC champion Jose Aldo threw just one in his UFC 212 loss to Max Holloway. This isn’t a recent isolated incident for Aldo, as he threw only four in his UFC 200 rematch with Frankie Edgar, but unlike Edgar, Holloway wasn’t nearly a threat to take him down off of a caught kick.
Was it planned strategy for Aldo not to incorporate leg kicks at all, or was the Brazilian nursing a previously undisclosed injury? According to coach Andre Pederneiras, it was the latter. (Via MMA Fighting)
“Every fight the athlete enters he has some kind of injury, and Aldo is no different, he has his,” Pederneiras told Fox Fight Club. “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,” he continued. “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.”
Pederneiras also spoke about the adjustments made in Aldo’s training camp as a result of the leg problem.
“He spent his entire camp working on his boxing and his takedown, his ground game,” Pederneiras said. “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.”
The last time Aldo threw at least ten leg kicks in a fight was when he landed 20 of 22 against Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169. He’d actually only attempted two leg kicks against Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163, but “The Korean Zombie” checked one of them and subsequently broke Aldo’s foot.