Super-fast Jose Aldo can't weight to move up to next fight class

Featherweight cham Jose Aldo, left,faces off with challenger Erik Koch during a press conference at...

Featherweight cham Jose Aldo, left,faces off with challenger Erik Koch during a press conference at Shaw Court in downtown Calgary on Wednesday. Photo by Lyle Aspinall/Calgary Sun

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:25 AM ET

Jose Aldo’s fight in Calgary may be his last as a featherweight.

The 145-lb. champ says he is itching to move up a class and fight as a lightweight.

“I’m more than ready,” Aldo told the Calgary Sun following a news conference Wednesday in the Stampede City to hype his UFC 149 main event July 21 at the Saddledome.

“If it was up to me,

I would have gone already.”

The man they call ‘Scarface’ — for a the large burn on his left cheek that he received as a child when his sister pushed him onto a smouldering barbecue pit

— says the ultimate timing of his move to 155 lb. is up to the UFC.

“If that decision is made,

I am more than ready to bring that on,” Aldo said.

The Brazilian has nothing left to prove at 145 lb. He hasn’t lost a fight in seven years, and his 21-1 record is among the best in MMA.

The lightning-fast striker has 14 knockout wins, has gone the distance without gassing and is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Without taking too much away from his UFC 149 opponent Erik Koch, there is a dearth of legitimate contenders left for Aldo at featherweight.

And the spectre of taking on the likes of Frankie Edgar, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, Nate Diaz or even lightweight champ Benson Henderson is exciting to Aldo and fans alike.

But for the time being, the poverty-bred 25-year-old — whose biggest dream in life was to own his own house — is focused on Koch and maintaining his perfect record as UFC featherweight champ.

Meanwhile, Koch, despite what the pundits and oddsmakers say, doesn’t see himself as an underdog.

“When it comes to fighting, I really don’t care what other people think,” said the Iowa native, who is 13-1 as a pro.

“I’m the guy who goes out there. I’m the guy who knocks people out. I’m gonna go out there and put on a fight. Jose is a great fighter, and he likes to stand and bang — and it’s going great.”

The 23-year-old Koch said when he first got the news he would get a title shot, he couldn’t contain himself.

“I went running into my living room, went down on my knees and just screamed,” Koch said.

“This is 23 years in the making. I remember training when I was 10 years old in my brother’s basement on an 8-by-8 mat. And now, I’m here at a press conference with people wanting to know what I’m up to and asking me questions. It’s crazy. I soak it in. I’m loving it all. A chance to fight for the title — that has always been my dream. I’ve always wanted it. Ever since I saw Tito Ortiz walking out with his belt, I knew I wanted to have it.”

For Aldo, the July 21 tilt in Calgary will hold special meaning, regardless of the outcome.

He and wife Vivianne — herself a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, who has two pro Muay Thai fights to her credit — are expecting their first child. The baby girl is due in late July or early August, meaning dad could be in Calgary when his daughter is born.

“That would be great for the kid to be born celebrating dad’s victory,” joked Aldo.

As for having to beg forgiveness from his wife, Aldo says, “She’s very understanding. She knows it’s my work, and, honestly,

I don’t really like to be around for those kinds of things.

I don’t think it’s a very nice moment for a woman.”

Good thing his wife is understanding.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca

twitter: SUNJRodriguez

blog: www.canoe.ca/scrapyard

 

 


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