Jose Aldo is content with his efforts despite losing to Petr Yan at UFC 251.
Aldo, a former UFC featherweight champion, suffered a fifth-round TKO loss to newly-minted bantamweight kingpin Yan in their clash for the vacated bantamweight title. Aldo is happy with his performance even if he did not leave with gold around his waist.
“It was a good fight. I liked my performance,” Aldo said to MMA Fighting. “Pretty much everything worked out. Everything we thought would happen in the fight happened. It was a very tough fight. We were basically tied going into the fifth round, but the main factors in the fight were a kick that landed on him and his punch that got me in the first and affected me. I thought it would be a tough fight, but I would be able to control it. We fought smart for two rounds. When I came back to the fourth, I don’t know why I changed my strategy again."
"I should have kept it, controlling the distance, but it’s his merit for imposing his rhythm, coming forward and controlling until the fifth," he continued. "We thought about fighting [the way I did in round one], but he connected a good punch, and I went down and stayed there for a while trying to recover and couldn’t fight until the end. But, like I said, I’m very happy. I was able to land kicks, I was able to land punches. I think I should have done more combinations with my hands. I think it was a good performance regardless. I think it’s more of his merits for being able to neutralize some areas we had in mind than me not doing something.”
Aldo remains winless when competing in the UFC bantamweight division and has not picked up a victory since February 2018.
Referee Leon Roberts got some criticism for allegedly letting Aldo take too much punishment in the fight, but Aldo has nothing by praise for how Roberts handled everything.
“The referee was great, man – excellent work by the referee,” Aldo asserted. “It’s hard to think about stopping a title fight. If he stopped it early, everyone would talk about it. I wasn’t out at any moment. I went down and was trying to recover. Everyone who gets in there, or those who have been knocked down before, knows how the body reacts. You get slower, that’s a fact. Fighters who say it should have been stopped earlier are just kidding themselves. You get slower, you try to move, but it’s completely different. To me, the referee did an excellent job. Getting punched once or twice more won’t make any difference in your life. You’re willing to do it. What if the referee doesn’t stop it there, I recover and land a good one that knocks him out? Every referee goes to our locker room before the fight to go over the rules, and I always tell them to not stop the fight, only if I have no reaction. As long as I’m fighting, let me in there. It’s part of the sport.”
There is no word at this time as to what could be next for Aldo, who is ranked #6 in the UFC bantamweight division.