Top featherweight contender Chad Mendes, a wrestler by trade, has openly spoken about putting champion Jose Aldo on his back at will when the two face off this weekend at UFC 142. However, one of the weapons Aldo expects to use in their headlining bout is an improved ability to fend off takedown attempts, a skill he honed in part due to the recent presence of 155-pound grappling-machine Gray Maynard at Nova Uniao.
Fortunately for fans, UFC cameras were on hand to document some of the process and get s\comments from both men relating to their newfound relationship as both training partners and friends.
“I met Gray when I was going to fight Kenny (Florian), he was the main event against Frankie (Edgar),” said Aldo when asked about his initial run-in with “The Bully”. “We were always joking around with each other. From there we started a friendship. I told it would be great if could come train with us. Good for him and good for us. It’s great to have such a talented guy come over. And thank God, now was a good time for him to come over.”
“I hope this partnership will last and that he will come train for his fights here,” Aldo concluded.
The 10-1-1 Maynard echoed Aldo’s sentiments in terms of how enjoyable the process has been, explaining, “It’s been eye-opening about how they train and it’s been eye-opening about how I train, my techniques. It’s just been an awesome time so far.”
The world will find out how helpful the training has been come showtime on Saturday night. However, regardless of outcome, it sounds like a both Maynard and Aldo will see each other inside the ring again someone soon, albeit as friends rather than foes.
Check out the video below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC