If Jose Aldo spoke English, he would be a mirror image of former WEC featherweight king Urijah Faber – except for the fact he’s a much bigger and badder version.
Both are well known for their devastating ways inside the cage, although prior to Saturday’s pay-per-view broadcast, Faber was portrayed as the kindhearted, fan-friendly fighter, while Aldo was seen as the big bad Brazilian. However, after his thrashing of the division’s former ruler, Aldo showed he’s a lot more about honor than A-hole.
“Every time I step in the Octagon, my goal is to always win and finish fights. Unfortunately, sometimes, the guys go to the hospital,” a humble Aldo said at the post-fight presser. “One part of me is very happy that I won the fight, the other part of me is really sad my opponent had to go to the hospital.
“Not just my opponent, but any fighter. I am one of these fighters, so anytime a fighter goes to the hospital, it makes me very upset.”
Not only did Faber get handed a convincing unanimous decision loss in his hometown of Sacramento, but he sustained a severely battered left leg for his troubles. Faber had it examined immediately after the defeat and was not available for comment, however managed to Tweet a video of his swollen thigh.
The only thing missing from the lopsided victory was the highlight reel finish fans were hoping for. Apparently commentator Joe Rogan was expecting it too, as he questioned the striker for his inability to finish Faber.
“I was just waiting for the right time to try and finish. Every time I step in the Octagon, I always try to finish and unfortunately I wasn’t able to tonight,” Aldo said. “Every time I would try to kick, he would switch his base and I was aware of that.
“I didn’t want to go outside of my limits and get caught in something … He has a very strong right cross and I wanted to pay attention to that.”
While that might be the excuse he’s using to explain why he eased up on the gas pedal, many believe he didn’t want to embarrass the defenseless former champ in his own backyard. If that’s the case, it’s the same class Faber would extend if the roles were reversed. That’s why “The California Kid” will remain the organization’s most popular fighter despite what took place this weekend.
“We were planning for it to be a tough fight,” Aldo said. “I know the crowd here is for Urijah, but I hold Sacramento close to my heart. It’s the first place I fought (for the WEC), and I hope they can adopt me … in my home away from home.”
Saturday night’s victory very well could have represented the passing of the 145-pound torch, but let’s not get carried away. Arco Arena will always be Faber’s house, however settling for owning the WEC’s featherweight division and being considered one of the planet’s best pound-for-pound fighters is a decent consolation prize for Aldo.