Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo had a leg injury during his third-round defeat to Max Holloway in Rio de Janeiro at UFC 212 on June 3, according to his coach, Andre Pederneiras.
Pederneiras initially explained away 30-year-old Aldo's lack of leg kicks against Holloway as a tactical ploy, but he has now offered an alternative explanation, per Fox Fight Club (via MMA Fighting's
He added there was encouragement from the crowd to get Aldo to kick Holloway: "It was even funny because we would go back [outside the Octagon] between rounds the crowd said 'tell him to kick,' but we, the cornermen, were the only aware of it. We avoided the kicks because of this injury. We were afraid it would strain his muscle."
As a result of his TKO victory over the legendary Brazilian, 25-year-old American Holloway became the unified UFC featherweight champion.
Per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, it was a deserved victory for Holloway but came as a shock to many:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Stunned crowd in Rio. Aldo looks upset at the stoppage but it was just. What a performance/comeback by Holloway. The young man called it.2017-6-4 04:28:47
The revelation of Aldo's leg injury explains why he proffered just one leg kick during the bout.
Per Cruz, Aldo released a statement after his defeat in which he vowed: "I'll come back, because we go down so we can get back up!! That's it!! We'll be back!!"