MANILA, Philippines – Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion Jose Aldo’s vicious leg kicks will be a non-factor when he defends his belt against top contender Anthony Pettis on August 3.
This, according to Pettis’ coach, Duke Roufus.
Aldo’s ability to land leg kicks has sparked him to victory numerous times. Just last February 2, he was able to dominate former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar after connecting on leg kicks often in the first two rounds.
But Roufus is confident that Pettis, who will drop from lightweight to featherweight to challenge the Brazilian Aldo, will be able to neutralize the technique.
“The leg kicks are going to be a non-issue,” Roufus told MMA Fighting. “Leg kicks are a cool thing until someone knows how to block it.”
“When you know how to block it, he (Aldo) is the one that gets hurt, not Anthony,” he added.
Roufus acknowledged that Aldo’s leg kicks have "given a lot of people trouble,” but pointed out that Pettis was able to block the leg kicks of his most recent opponent, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
“Those leg kicks he launched, you saw Anthony block it and strike back right away. You did not see him (Cerrone) throw a leg kick anymore,” Roufus said.
“That’s the one thing I’ll say will definitely affect Aldo’s game. The kicking will be out,” he stressed.
Pettis was originally supposed to fight for the lightweight title, but instead decided to drop to 145 pounds and challenge Aldo for his belt.
Roufus is confident that the weight cut will be easy for Pettis.
“The nice thing is Anthony doesn’t cut a lot of weight. The last three fights, he didn’t even go to the sauna, so he’s very meticulous with diet and nutrition,” he said.