While fans were no doubt disappointed to learn of Jose Aldo’s withdrawal from UFC 125, the top-ranked featherweight’s trainer says the news hit no one harder than Aldo himself.
“It was such a really tough task for me to convince him not to fight. He wanted to fight anyway. He was really excited to make his UFC debut, but I told him [fighting] in such a crisis state, he may have really serious problems,” Andre Pederneiras, head of Nova Uniao, told Sherdog.com. “He argued that he wanted to fight anyway, that people would think he was chickening out, but I insisted and convinced him.”
On Tuesday, it was reported that the newly-christened UFC featherweight champion had been forced to pull out of his New Year’s Day title defense against Josh Grispi, but Pederneiras says the injury existed long before Aldo traveled to Michigan last weekend to receive his new belt at UFC 123.
“He’s felt this pain in his right arm for a long time, but you know how the tough guys behave. He just took an anti-inflammatory and kept training,” said Pederneiras. “But during training for his last two fights, it started to be more painful and, even with the medicine, he was complaining. Before we traveled for UFC 123, we went to a doctor and he said that he believed Aldo had some problem in his cervical spine, but he could only confirm after seeing the images from the exam.”
Flame Not, Lest Ye Be Flamed Yourself.
I can only imagine how badly Aldo wanted to fight. This was intended to be his coming out party in front of the world, the first fight under the UFC banner as a UFC champion... That's a huge deal, he must've been crushed by the news.