COVID-19 isn’t going to stop Jose Aldo from beating Henry Cejudo at UFC 250, even if he can only train for the bout at home.
Speaking to MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview, the former UFC featherweight king described his less than ideal training camp for UFC 250 and said he would have no problem beating Cejudo on a weeks’ notice.
“I’ll separate a group of athletes, no more than five fighters that have been in quarantine as well, and I know they don’t have it, so they can train with me,” Aldo said. “I’ve proven I don’t have it (by staying at home for two weeks). If they don’t have it either, we can train and have contact. I’ll train exclusively with that group.
“We’re all isolated. We’re in quarantine, so, when it’s over, we’ll take all the precaution needed and be able to train jiu-jitsu and spar. We’ll be able to do out normal training. The gym is closed, so we’ll open it just for us and train without risking getting contaminated or contaminating others.”
“F***, I only need a week of training to beat Cejudo,” Aldo said. “I’m more worried about making weight than fighting him. I can be off camp, on vacation, but if you put me in the Octagon with him, I beat him with an eye closed. So, for me, it’s not about sparring, if I only have a month or a week to train, I beat him even if I’m not training. The only problem is the weight, so that’s why I’m eating well. I’m cool about the fight though, don’t worry about it.”
Aldo, who was granted a title shot against Cejudo despite losing his bantamweight debut against Marlon Moraes, is taking his training very seriously and believes he will have no problem making weight come fight night.
“It’s not even close to my regular camp, of course, but I’m staying very active at home, training the way I can,” Aldo said. “I’m not sloppy or out of shape just because I’m not at the gym. I’m active, keeping my weight low, eating well, so I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
The government of Sao Paulo recently enforced a statewide lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus, but ‘Scarface’ is confident his title bout with ‘The Messenger’ will go ahead as planned on May 9 — albeit behind closed doors.
“Everything can change in a split second, of course,” Aldo said. “This is the first time we’re experiencing something like this in our lives and we’re all being affected by it, so it all depends on this event now. My card is a few weeks later, so we’ll have an idea how we can deal with it. I pray and hope that God can enlighten the minds of the scientists and they can find a way to neutralize this coronavirus, COVID-19, and can find a treatment as soon as possible.
“I think just like Dana (White), our sport will be the first to come back. He has a private jet and can fly everyone to this event. It all depends on Khabib’s fight and how it’s going to happen. Everything went perfect? Brother, he can do all fights now. We have six weeks for my fight, so we’ll know how the world will be by then, how Vegas will be, so we’ll have a better idea when we can fight. It can be anywhere. It all depends on the Khabib fight. (Just do) five fights, actually. The main card. The rest, see ya!
“I have no problems getting on a plane and travel to fight. Wherever that is, I’ll fight. I’ll be doing what I love and will be fighting for my family.”
UFC 250: Cejudo vs. Aldo is scheduled to take place on May 9 at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.