UFC 251: Jose Aldo believes UAE investment in jiu-jitsu can lead to future UFC champion

Brazilian great, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, is currently in Abu Dhabi as he gets set to face Petr Yan at UFC 251 on Sunday

Jose Aldo says the UAE can help the Middle East develop a future UFC champion given the country’s investment in mixed martial arts.

The Brazilian great is currently in Abu Dhabi as he gets set to face Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title at UFC 251 on Sunday – the opening event at the inaugural Fight Island. Shows follow on July 16, 19 and 26.

A black belt in jiu-jitsu, Aldo praised the UAE’s commitment to the sport, which has become hugely popular in the Emirates, particularly in the past decade.

“It’ll take some time before they have a champion,” the former featherweight champion said. “They’re investing in the grassroots and getting kids into jiu-jitsu, getting them trained from a young age. Then you can bet you will find a champion from here.

“There is no formula for this, this is normal. They are already doing the right thing investing, especially in the next generations, so you can be sure to have a champion in the next generation.”

Aldo’s clash with Yan is one of three title fights at UFC 251, with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski taking on Max Holloway in a rematch of their December clash, while welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his belt against long-time foe Jorge Masvidal.

Published: July 9, 2020 11:48 AM

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