Most mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters who drop down in weight do so with the understanding that shedding some of that extra skin will improve speed at the expense of muscle and ultimately, power.
Not this time.
Coach Eduardo Dantas insists that his star pupil, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Jose Aldo, is not only faster since dropping down to 135 pounds, he’s just as powerful as he ever was.
“He’s faster now but with the same punching power, so he’s way more dangerous,” Dantas told MMA Fighting. “He’s kicking hard and landing heavy punches. He’ll surprise everyone with his speed and punching power at bantamweight.”
Aldo made the drop in weight after struggling to find consistency at featherweight. After coughing up his crown to Conor McGregor in late 2015, “Junior” has managed a mediocre record of 3-3, including last May’s loss to Alexander Volkanovski.
“I saw him sparring with a heavier guy, keeping the distance and countering,” Dantas said. “The hand landed and the guy felt it and immediately shot for a takedown. He hasn’t lost his punching power and he’s still weighing 150.”
His first assignment out of the gate won’t be an easy one, as Aldo (28-5) takes on former bantamweight title contender, Marlon Moraes, at the UFC 245 pay-per-view (PPV) event next month in Las Vegas, Nevada (more on that fight here).