Aldo, have you watched Saturday’s fight,
that defined your next opponent? No, and people told me that the Combate signal cut out,
so there was no way to watch the fight. But the important is that my coaches
are watching, we’re already studying. First of all, I would like to say one thing about fights today. (Holloway) was saying ‘where’s Aldo?’ and
stuff like that. First of all, he has to talk to the UFC. Since the beginning, when I lost, a year ago,
I think, I said I’d definitely fight him because he was a guy that I saw back
then that had the chance to fight me, because I knew Conor wouldn’t
come back to the division anymore. I don’t know what he’s talking about, ‘where’s Aldo?’, if I’m
going to fight or not, because I always thought I’d fight him. I even told Dana at the meeting we had that I’d fight him.
And about the February fight, I already knew that. I just didn’t know who I was going to fight. It was between Pettis and him, whoever won would
be my next opponent. Everybody knew that. It’s not something new that he went there and said. No, this fight was supposed to happen already,
and will happen on February 11th. That’s it. – Is this a done deal?
– Yes. It was a done deal a while ago. We just couldn’t announce it, which is normal with the UFC.
But before this Saturday fight even happened, everybody, both of them already knew that the winner was
going to fight me February 11th in Brooklyn. I don’t know why he’s talking so
much crap when it’s already set. Do you think he’s already running? I don’t know, right? We’ll see. He said after the
fight that we’re fighting on February 11th so I believe that, brother, there’s nowhere to run. We already have a runaway in Conor, who hasn’t
stepped a foot in the division in a year. Were you surprised with the result of the fight? Did you think Pettis would win, or did you
already expect Holloway to win? No, I thought it would be a really tough fight. And it was.
Like I said, not many people saw this fight. But I was already talking to ‘Dede’ this morning.
It was a tough fight. It wasn’t easy at all. But I think Pettis is declining, so I already expected
that Holloway had a bigger chance to win the fight. One year after the loss to Conor McGregor.
Can you sum up how was this year for you? Great. I became champion again, like I was. A champion is the one who wins and defends his belt,
not a lucky shot that you throw and beat the champion. I had already seen that with Georges St-Pierre, when he lost the title and
when he went for the rematch, which was normal, the champion won. I’m still the champion. To me, it’s a great year. I beat Frankie Edgar really well, and I’m where I always wanted to be,
where I deserve to be, which is being champion. What’s the biggest challenge you see in a fight with Holloway? I haven’t studied his game yet, so a fight is a fight. Of course, we defend hard in there,
but he tries to keep it standing, but I don’t see any problem with it because I don’t see where
he can beat me. Standing, on the ground, wrestling, nothing. He’s just coming off a big winning streak,
but against guys that are not at the top. He fought Pettis now, who was fighting for the
second time in the featherweight division, and I don’t know why he thinks he’s that big of a deal. To me, he’s just another normal fighter that I knew had a big
chance of fighting me in the future. And it will happen. He mentioned this Brooklyn date, but later on the
press conference he said it wasn’t set yet, because he didn’t want to skip Christmas and his
son’s birthday and you don’t show up to fight. Is that any reason why this date won’t work? No, the date is set. I will fight at this day, with him or another. This is certain. If he shows up or not, that’s his problem. Everybody has a family, everybody has kids, holidays and all that,
so who wants to be a champion can’t think about holidays. I’ve fought at many events like the Super Bowl weekend
and trained during Christmas and New Years Eve, and that was never a problem for me. It’s easy for
you to analyze and see who won’t show up. One thing is certain: like I said, it was already a done deal. The UFC knew about the date, Dana and everybody else, but we didn’t
announce it before because we had to wait for the fight first. You always talked about better pay, fair things for fighters, and there’s the MMA Athletes’ Association now
with GSP, Tim Kennedy, Donald Cerrone. Did they reach out to you? What are your thoughts
on this association? Do you intend to join them? I was. They invited me to be a part of this association,
but I don’t think everything is clear with this association. There are others going on, laws in the Senate as well,
so there’s a lot going on to help athletes. When it’s possible for me to be present and be a part of
things that will benefit the athletes, I will always fight for us. This association was created by a former Bellator president, so I don’t
know what’s the real function behind it, if it’s something for the fighters. I’m part of one, too, with Randy Couture, Cung Le, that has an
open mind to help athletes, not only the ones in the UFC. Our world isn’t focused only in the UFC. We have millions of fighters,
trillions of fighters that need help. We won’t fight with a promotion just because we’re exclusive there. I fight for everybody, national and international, no matter
where they are. I want to help those athletes. Not only those in the UFC, those that are in the
big league and can have a better future, but those in the small promotions and need our help. As a commentator, how do you see
Rousey’s fight against Amanda going? Who gets the better in which área, and who wins? First of all, I think it’s a great fight.
Of course, I’m a Brazilian and I will cheer for Amanda. I see a great potential in Amanda, too. She proved in her last fight that she wants to
continue as champion. She has a sharp boxing. If she’s able to neutralize Ronda’s judo, her takedowns, which for
me is not that hard to stop, she has big chances at winning. Ronda is an athlete that we don’t know how she
will behave because she’s coming off a loss. You can be sure that if she has a chance to get a takedown and grapple,
she has a great chance at winning the fight as well. Depends on who can impose their game in the fight.
Whoever does your game better, will win the fight. I think women’s MMA is based on this. I don’t see many
well-rounded female athletes today, dominating all areas. You see one great boxer, one with great judo,
one with great grappling skills. One athlete that I think is really complete is Joanna,
but I don’t see one in Ronda’s division yet. I knew that when she fought someone with great boxing,
even if they don’t know how to stop takedowns, but had a good movement standing, they could beat her. Or someone with great wrestling to stop
her judo, they could beat her, too. Women’s MMA, this division, is still pretty much
at the same level. It’s too new, right?