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UFC on FOX 26: Kenny Florian asks if ‘mentally broken’ Jose Aldo is still motivated to fight

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MMA: UFC 212-Aldo vs Hollway Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Aldo coughed up his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight title to Max Holloway at UFC 212, losing to “Blessed” via technical knockout in his home turf of Brazil earlier this year.

The loss marked Jose’s second in his last three outings, a rare occurrence for a man who had previously won 18 straight fights and hadn’t tasted defeat in nearly a decade before his skid.

So what changed?

According to former UFC combatant-turned analyst Kenny Florian, it seems Aldo may have become a little bored during the bout, and perhaps even lost some of his motivation.

“That’s the big question for me because although he was winning the majority of that fight against Max Holloway, early on especially, as the fight went on it seemed like it was the Jose Aldo that kind of loses interest in the fight,” Florian said on the most recent edition of The Anik and Florian podcast (via MMA Fighting).

“It seemed like maybe he was a little bit bored or didn’t want to work as hard as he normally does during the fight. He didn’t have that same kind of pep in his step and Holloway just took it to him, kept pressuring him backwards and Holloway just broke him mentally and then took him out with skill. It was a beautiful thing to watch,” added the former multi-division title contender, who lost to Aldo at UFC 136 in his bid to dethrone him from the 145-pound mountain back in 2011.

Aldo will look to turn things around when he faces Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FOX 26 on December 16, a man the Brazilian bomber previously defeated inside the Octagon. It’s a chance to prove he still wants it, according to Kenny, as going in against someone he holds a win over will show just how motivated the former 145-pound champ really is to get back to the top.

“For Aldo, this is an interesting fight to see, are you still motivated to fight? Are you still out there to win and put out your best performance? Especially against a guy he already beat, we’re gonna find out pretty quickly what Jose Aldo is all about and if he truly wants to get back to the top of this division.”

Aldo has made no bones about his desire to take his skills to another combat sport, specifically the boxing arena, leading some to believe his mind could be elsewhere.

A good showing and a win over “The Bully” could dispel that notion and put the former longtime champion on the fast track to a potential rematch against Holloway, sooner, rather than later, in an attempt to get his belt back.

Or maybe even a trilogy title fight against this guy.

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