Quick Hits: UFC Fighters Talk From Brazil
“I train with some of the best guys in the world,” said Chad Mendes of his upcoming, main event showdown with featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
“Jose Aldo is the champion for a reason, but I’ve never been more ready in my life. Saturday can’t get here soon enough.”
Aldo is taking his first fight in Brazil in nearly five years. The 25-year-old Rio resident has enlisted the help of former lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard to help improve his wrestling skills. Maynard, a standout wrestler at Michigan State University, has spent the last three weeks training with the champion at the Nova Uniao gym.
“Rio has been a great experience,” Maynard said. “I’ve helped Aldo with his preparations and had the chance to train with guys like (UFC bantamweight) Renan Barao. I’ve learned so much from “Dede” (Nova Uniao owner and renowned trainer André Pederneiras). This has been an awesome experience.”
Canadian lightweight Sam Stout, who fights Thiago Tavares, traveled to Rio with featherweight star and close friend Mark Hominick. Hominick will corner Stout in Stout’s first fight since the passing of his late trainer and brother-in-law, Shawn Tompkins.
The UFC event, which takes place Saturday, Jan. 14 from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.