Nova Uniao manager Andre Pederneiras expects Jose Aldo to face Rob Font in December

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Always optimistic, the founder of Nova Uniao, Andre Pederneiras, had a lot to say about his students, namely a former champion who has accompanied him for many years.

With plenty of fighters planned on the next Ultimate Fighting Championship fight cards, the Nova Uniao frontman gave Sherdog an exclusive interview on Wednesday. As always, “Dede” was happy to speak openly about everything from his team to his involvement in the Shooto Brazil promotion.

He wanted to start first with his star pupil, Jose Aldo, who has big things in mind for the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion Aldo turned 35 earlier this month, and he’s leading a two-game winning streak against Marlon Vera and Pedro Munhoz. Aldo is currently the No. 7 bantamweight in the official Sherdog rankings, and he and his coach had no shortage of names in the lead.

“Of course, our main intention was to face [former champion T.J.] Dillashaw, ”the coach began. “But we understand that he [earned] the chance to fight for the belt afterwards. He has also had knee surgery and won’t be back anytime soon. Aldo comes from two straight wins and wants to be active; I think he deserves to face someone above him in the leaderboard. Rob Font said before the fight between Aldo and Munhoz that it was a very interesting fight for him, [as] if Munhoz [won] it would be a great revenge for him, [and] if Aldo [won], [it] would be the greatest name he had ever faced. But what happened was after Aldo’s victory he didn’t say anything, but we already asked him for December.

The former featherweight king, who is now successful at 135 pounds after reigning in the 145 pound category for years, has found himself over the years as the talking point of many big names. Recently, Khabib Nurmagomedov weighed in on Aldo and even went so far as to claim that Aldo’s current run is for money and that Aldo will never hold another title. “Dede” had some thoughts on Nurmagomedov’s comments.

“Khabib has always been an example of someone who talks little and does a lot,” admitted Pederneiras, “but after deciding to retire and losing all the media he had for his victory, he started to say bad things not only about the fighters, even ringing the girls he attacked. I think his goal is to stay in the media. But he [doesn’t] need to say these things.

“He actually turned down a fight with Aldo,” the head coach continued. “It happened when he was going to fight Tony Ferguson and Aldo had defeated Frankie Edgar. [Conor] McGregor was the lightweight champion at the time, and we thought it might be a great way to get the rematch. If Aldo [beat] Khabib, Conor couldn’t deny it. Unfortunately, Khabib’s team did not accept the fight. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Aldo would knock out or subdue Khabib, I’m just saying that Nurmagomedov had the opportunity to prove everything he says now about Aldo, and he was the one who didn’t accept our call. . Names like Aldo, Anderson [Silva] and [Georges St.
Pierre] must uphold their heritage. Aldo has been fighting MMA for 17 years, [and] still among [the] top five, he has appeared in 37 fights, nine title defenses if you count the WEC and UFC, challenging each other in two weight divisions.

Recently, several former UFC greats have switched to boxing to end their fighting careers. Aldo thought about it too, in the middle of his title race in 2016, but he was barred from continuing down that path.

“When he beat Frankie for the second time and we realized he wouldn’t get rematch with McGregor, we asked [UFC President] Dana [White] to release him for a super boxing fight, but Dana refused. Right in the sequence [where] he fought Holloway and lost, ”lamented Pederneiras.

At Nova Uniao, Aldo was joined in the camp by former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, who left Kings MMA, Evolve MMA camp in Singapore and the one he started for himself. Firmly believing that “iron sharpens iron”, dos Anjos decided to team up with Aldo, Pederneiras and the rest of the greats of the Brazilian squad. Dos Anjos has a bout scheduled for UFC 267 on October 30, where he will face Islam Makhachev in a high-stakes lightweight case.

“Rafael moved to Rio, initially for a year,” Pederneiras said. “He’s focused on getting a title shot.”

Regarding the fight itself, Pederneiras noted that judo is one of the main goals of the dos Anjos camp to beat the Russian international master of the sport in combat sambo.

“If you analyze all these sambo guys, they’re doing so well in MMA because sambo is a mix of judo and wrestling,” the head coach explained. “When they face wrestlers, they defend themselves very well and take them down using judo techniques; if they have good judo guys they use wrestling. When you see Islam fighting, its best throws are not wrestling skills, but Judo. Most of the people who tried to fight against Islam or Khabib weren’t thrown out with judo techniques. [In the past] Rafael has trained so much in wrestling in the United States,
[but now] we favor judo throws in this camp.

Pederneiras got acquainted with Russia and the Russian organizers as he trains his fighters to face their fighters. With the pandemic raging in Brazil, as well as an ongoing economic crisis in the country, “Dede” explained that it is almost impossible for him to promote Shooto events. Pederneiras and his team recently worked with Shooto and the Legacy Fighting Alliance. Of note, he helped facilitate the LFA in Rio de Janeiro in July, where the organization hosted LFA 111 and 112 on the same weekend.

“Unfortunately, the financial support that Globo TV was giving us to organize the events is no longer possible, so my goal now is to form new partnerships and take my athletes to other events,” said Pederneiras. “It was a great experience to support [LFA
head] Ed Soares in two editions of LFA here in my arena. He loved it, and plans to do other editions in 2022.

“I am leaving for Russia next month,” he continued. “We also hope to bring a Russian promotion to Rio. Promoting events is extremely necessary for me in order to produce information fighters. I reinvest almost all the money I earn with my fighters in the new generation. Today, I have about sixty professionals in training [Nova Uniao], if I only have 15 fighting [in] international events, the other 45 unemployed will not come every day to get beaten up by the 15, so I need to have events to give opportunities to the 35 others to show how they are improving and how they also deserve a opportunity. If you ask me if I like doing Shooto, I will answer, for sure, no. But I have to do the show. If I had had 50 events in Brazil to broadcast my athletes, for sure, I wouldn’t be able to.

Another of those aforementioned pros, Eduardo Dantas, is looking to make a comeback after leaving Bellator MMA in 2019. The former bantamweight champion has competed under the Bellator banner 15 times over the years, and he has parted ways with the league after losing three of four. . A first-round submission in July on a Shooto Brazil card showed that there may still be something left in the 32-year-old’s nicknamed “Dudu” tank.

“I really believe Dantas has the face [for] UFC, ”said his coach. “Great striker, best black belt, very good at selling fights. I have no doubt that he will be one of the stars of the bantamweight division. I’m just waiting for the call from the UFC. But even if that doesn’t happen, I try to put it in good events that don’t require long contracts. But our goal is to get him to the UFC. Dudu is only 32 years old and has already fought 29 times in MMA, being several times Bellator champion. I have no doubt that his time will come.


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