Jose Aldo’s long-time training partner Eduardo Dantas has revealed that he believes the Brazilian will beat Petr Yan via second round KO at UFC 251.
Aldo and Yan are set to square off for the UFC Bantamweight Championship next month in what will serve as the promotion’s first pay-per-view event on the highly anticipated Fight Island.
However, that won’t be the first time these two have fought in one way or another, with Yan training alongside Aldo at Nova Uniao in the lead-up to Aldo’s UFC 200 bout with Frankie Edgar.
Dantas was also present for Yan’s trip to Brazil, and he has some thoughts on how it went back then — and how it could go on July 11, during a recent interview with MMA Fighting.
“He trained a lot with us, especially me, because we’re both bantamweights,” Dantas said. “He trained boxing and kickboxing, I haven’t seen him do much of ground game in the gym, but this kid always showed a lot of heart. He came from a different team, a different country, didn’t speak our language, but came here and put on great training sessions. He was always there to train, always available.”
Having watched the pair train together, Dantas believes Aldo is the more complete fighter.
“If you stop and look at the strikers they have fought, it’s completely different,” he said. “If Yan fought one guy that is tough on the feet, that’s already too much. You can’t compare. Yan might be younger, he’s coming fully motivated, he trains really hard, but you can’t compare them technique-wise. To me, Junior is way more complete.
“And about (them) training (together), you probably already know how it must have gone, right? Not to mention that Aldo was way heavier and way stronger. Yan weighed around 148 pounds when he came here, he was always skinny. You can’t compare.”
Dantas then shared his prediction for the matchup itself.
“It’s a good matchup because Yan and Aldo move forward the whole time,” Dantas said. “My hunch is Junior knocks him out in the second round. If he doesn’t knock him out, it would be five rounds of suffering for Yan, getting beat up a lot. Of course that Yan has great cardio and Junior is rising… If I had to guess, I’d bet on Junior by second-round knockout.
“(Aldo) stayed unbeaten for 10 years, taking everyone down at featherweight with a really bad diet. He’s on a diet for the first time of his life now at bantamweight. He’s training more focused and eating way healthier. He went from water into wine. I’m not saying this because I’m his friend, I say this based on what I see in training, his cardio and his technique. It’s his destiny, he will be the bantamweight champion.”