25-year old featherweight champion Jose Aldo picked up the twentieth win of his career Saturday night and it’s hard to argue that any of his past victories were any bigger. Facing Kenny Florian, a seasoned veteran with a high rate of success at 155-pounds, Aldo avoided trouble throughout while delivering enough damage of his own to walk away with a Unanimous Decision.
Both men spoke to media after the show where they reflected on their UFC 136 performances and looked forward to what might on the horizon.
“I had to pace (myself) a little bit in this fight,” Aldo explained in the post-event press conference. “I knew if I was too explosive that Kenny could end up beating me. So I had to really pace. I couldn’t be as explosive as I wanted to in the fight. Everybody was telling me to hold back so I kept it cool, studied the fight.”
When asked about the prospect of facing undefeated grappler Chad Mendes, an 11-0 competitor out of Team Alpha Male who most recently beat Rani Yahya in the Octagon this past August.
“That’s really not up to me,” said Aldo of the potential match-up. “I think Chad’s a great fighter and I think he’s ready for it. I think it’s gonna be great. I’m here to fight the best, whoever they put in front of me.”
As far as Florian, the mood of the Ultimate Fighter 1 alumnus was far more glum as might be expected after his third failed attempt at winning a UFC championship.
“I wasn’t successful on the wrestling end of it. I think that was the difference and I made some mistakes out there – simple as that,” Florian stated frankly while remaining elusive about his future in MMA whether in regards to retirement, a return to the lightweight division, or another run at 145-pounds.
“I haven’t really thought past this fight so we’ll see what happens,” the 14-7 Massachusetts native concluded.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC