UFC featherweight champion José Aldo, Jr. defended his title last night by defeating wily veteran Kenny Florian via unanimous decision. Aldo keeps his reign at 145lbs. alive, but turned in a more conservative performance than most have come to expect from the explosive young Brazilian.
Aldo explained last night that he felt the need to play it safe out of respect for Florian’s all-around threatening skill set.
“I had to pace it a little bit in this fight,” said Aldo. “I knew that 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 and everybody was kind of telling me to hold back so I just kept it cool and studied the fight.”
By defeating Florian, Aldo extended his current winning streak to thirteen and made his fourth straight title defense. Up next for Scarface appears to be Chad Mendes and, though nothing is official, Aldo would welcome that, or any other challenge that the UFC places in his path.
“That’s really not up to me,” he said of who he’ll face next, but added in regards to Mendes, “I think it’s great. 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.”