Tonight Jose Aldo will fulfill a dream by fighting in front of his fellow Brazilians as a UFC champion when he meets Chad Mendes in the main event at UFC 142. However, though the bout may be the biggest of the 25-year old’s career, the ever-humble Aldo still found a way to spend some time giving back to the less fortunate in his community.
During the weeks preceding this evening’s event, UFC cameras followed Aldo and friend/training partner Gray Maynard to a local service project called Usina de Cidadania where former UFC star Pedro Rizzo has implemented a MMA program aimed at giving disadvantaged youth a positive opportunity they would not have normally had.
“Pedro Rizzo has this project here and he brought me here. He said that since I had my life story of moving here and living at the gym, since I didn’t have too much help to win in life, Pedro thought my life story was a match for the project,” Aldo explains in the video. “So it was great that he brought me to be part of this. So the children can see that just like I’ve succeeded they can succeed. I hope that like me other children will grow up to become champions.”
Check out the video below and make sure to watch Aldo-Mendes tonight on PPV when things fire up at 10:00 PM EST:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Aldo’s attention to those in need of help is commendable, especially when he could easily spend all his time in the gym or relaxing. There’s no question Rio boasts some of extremely impoverished neighborhoods and giving children an outlet to exercise where they can also have fun in a safe environment is a wonderful service. Add in the fact they can work alongside some of their heroes like Aldo/Rizzo and you have something truly special.