Jose Aldo trains at Barra da Tijuca beach
Story and photos by Eduardo Ferreira and Guilherme Cruz
This Wednesday’s afternoon was not like a regular summer day in Rio de Janeiro. But, Barra da Tijuca’s beach, on the west zone of the city, was crowed. That is because hundreds of MMA fans went to prestige the open training of UFC, with names like Jose Aldo, Chad Mendes, Vitor Belfort and Anthony Johnson in action. The activity is part of UFC 142 show, which will take place at HSBC Arena, in Rio de Janeiro, Saturday (14th). Junior dos Santos, Wanderlei Silva and Diego Brandao were there to support the Brazilians.
The first one to train was Johnson, and he trained striking and takedown attempts. Then came the American Chad Mendes. Vitor Belfort went on stage next and, differently from the others, trained his ground game. Featherweight title holder, Jose Aldo was the last one to go up and train.
Confident, Anthony Johnson wasn’t intimidated for being in Brazil and promised to dominate the Phenom.
“I’ll use everything in my power to dominate Vitor in all possible ways”, affirmed “Rumble”, who wants to remain on the division after the bout.
Trained by the Brazilian Fabio “Pateta” Prado, Chad Mendes like the experience of training outside the gym.
“It’s my first outdoor train. It was pretty cool. I feel better than ever and on the 14th I’ll do my best”.
A lot chanted by the fans, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Vitor Belfort, one of the most known fighters in the country, commented he would do his best to defeat his opponent, in his hometown.
“My responsibility is to do the best. It’s what I’ve been doing. It’s a tough week for all fighters, because they gotta cut weight, but I have a great team beside me, all Brazil as my gas and what I offer my bosses, sponsors and gans is to do my best. I’m focused as an arrow sees the mark. That’s my job”.
Leaded by Andre Pederneiras, head-coach of Nova Uniao team, Jose Aldo did a brief presentation to the fans and talked about the pleasure of fighting on the Wonderful City.
“Feeling the fan’s support is wonderful, it’s something special in my life. We can’t underestimate anyone, that’s the fight I asked for, so I’m going for it. The belt is ours, it’s like a son to me and nobody’s taking it from me. You gotta kill me first”.