Andre Pederneiras, the former Nova Uniao head-coach, has argued that his star-pupil José Aldo deserves to be considered one of the greatest of all-time.
MMA fans tend to have short memories. In the case of José Aldo, it does seem as though many either have forgotten or simply didn’t experience him at the very peak of his powers.
As the first and longest-serving featherweight in the history of the UFC, he ruled as one of the world’s pound-for-pound best, beating the likes of Urijah Faber, Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, Kenny Florian, Cub Swanson, and Chan Sung Jung.
He was surgical with his strikes, unmatched in his explosiveness and near-flawless with his fight IQ. For a time it really did seem as though the Brazilian would retire undefeated – until a certain outspoken Irishman came along.
We all know what happened next. 13 short seconds and an entire legacy defined.
Of course, Max Holloway managed to defeat him twice in the time since then but in truth, his reputation in the eyes of the fans is nowhere near where it was prior to his annihilation at the hands of Conor McGregor.
With the G.O.A.T discussion especially rampant after Daniel Cormier’s UFC 226 heroics earlier this month – Nova Uniao’s Andre Pederneiras has chimed in with his belief that his fighter Aldo is being unfairly forgotten in that debate.
Speaking to MMAFighting in a recent interview ahead of José’s matchup with Jeremy Stephens at UFC Calgary this weekend, the coach and longtime mentor to Aldo made it clear that he should be right in the mix as far as the title of ‘greatest of all-time’ is concerned.
“If you’re asking all these guys maybe just Anderson and St-Pierre stay with the belt for so long like him. Cormier has won right now, but I don’t think he’ll stay for so long to defend his title like [Aldo].
“And I think for a guy to be among the best, the greats — you know he defended his title for a long time against many different guys.
“I’m not saying that Cormier isn’t great, but I say Aldo needs to be on the same list. That’s my opinion.”
We will know a lot more about the former champ’s standing within the featherweight division when all is said and done between himself and ‘Lil Heathen’ tonight but in truth, Aldo has already done more than enough to warrant his status as a legend of the game.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena