UFC featherweight champion (courtesy the WEC-UFC merger) Jose Aldo was set to make his UFC debut on the first of this month, but was forced out of that bout with a neck injury. Aldo was to take on Josh Grispi in that bout and Grispi chose to keep his spot on the card, taking on late replacement Dustin Poirier. In what came as a surprise to many, Poirier dominated Grispi from bell-to-bell and cut short “The Fluke’s” immediate title aspirations.
In an interview with Tatame.com (transcribed by Fighters Only), Aldo discussed Grispi’s loss and also gave some insight into his mindset in regards to making his UFC debut.
“Now I don’t know what is going to happen, who is going to be my opponent. With Grispi’s loss I have no idea who I will face,” said Aldo, whose healing process is said to be going very well. “There will be an event on Jan 22nd, let’s wait and see what happens.”
Aldo revealed his surprise at Grispi’s loss, saying that he, like many others, predicted Grispi would win based on his impressive record and showings in the WEC.
“His loss surprised me,” he said. “I was expecting him to win, he had only one defeat and I already had seen many of his fights in WEC and he always performed well, that’s it, fight is fight and now we will wait to see who is my next adversary.”
The Brazilian 145-pound phenom explained that the bout’s forced cancellation may have been a blessing in disguise, as he was nervous at the prospect of fighting so soon and while injured.
“The anxiety was much bigger because I was going to fight in January but it ended up cancelled,” Aldo said. “Now I’m more calm, unwind, just waiting for them to schedule my first UFC title defense.”
Aldo told Tatame that he is excited to make his UFC debut now and that he thinks working with the UFC is the same as working with the WEC.
“It changes nothing for me, I keep doing my work in the same way,” he said. “My routine in UFC will be the same as it was in WEC. What changed was just the name that was WEC and now is UFC. I look to face it so in order to go ahead in my career.”
With a record of 18-1, Aldo has proven to be one of the most dominant champions of any weight class. He last appeared in action against Manny Gamburyan this past September, knocking out the Armenian bruiser in the second round.