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UFC featherweight champ stops by Burbank

Mixed martial arts: Jose Aldo sits down at Morton's to talk title bout with Frankie Edgar on Super Bowl weekend.

November 27, 2012|By Grant Gordon

BURBANK — Having grown up playing soccer in his native Brazil before becoming one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the mixed-martial-arts world, Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion Jose Aldo might surprise a few people when asked his opinion on American football.

“American football, for me, is the best sport,” said Aldo, who proclaimed the New England Patriots as his favorite team and quarterback Tom Brady as his favorite player, through an interpreter. “I watch everything.”

Thus, the magnitude of headlining the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas was not lost on the ultra-talented and always-devastating Brazilian.

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“Not only Vegas, but the whole U.S.; I know how the whole country stops to watch the Super Bowl,” said Aldo, who will defend his UFC featherweight strap against Frankie Edgar on Feb. 2 at UFC 156 from the Mandalay Bay. “That’s why we have a great responsibility to put on a great show for the fans.”

With tickets going on sale Friday for the UFC’s blockbuster card — which also features heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva locking up, as well as light heavyweights Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and welterweights Jon Fitch and Demian Maia — Aldo touched down in Los Angeles Tuesday morning after a flight in from Brazil before settling in for a media luncheon at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Burbank.

“You cannot blink or you can lose,” Aldo said. “It’s a fight between two very explosive guys — anything can [happen].”

With a scar across the left side of his face that earned him the moniker “Scarface,” Aldo, 26, has rarely been touched up during his current tour de force, as he’s run off 14 straight victories during a 21-1 career that’s seen him finish 15 fights, with 13 coming via knockout.

Edgar, 31, meanwhile, sits at 14-3-1 as a former UFC lightweight champion. Noted for his boxing skills and wrestling background, he’s fought legendary battles against Gray Maynard, Benson Henderson and Tyson Griffin, among others, and has won UFC Fight of the Night honors on five occasions.

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