In an exclusive interview with MMAlatestnews.com, Bilharinho discussed Aldo’s preparation for his bout against Conor McGregor. The Brazilian, who boasts an impressive MMA record of 6-0, is the current bantamweight and featherweight champion of the Brazilian mixed martial arts promotion Jungle Fight.
He was brought in to help Aldo prepare for McGregor by mimicking McGregor’s unorthodox style of movement. Bilharinho is adamant that Aldo is prepared more than ever for McGregor.
“When Conor fought Chad Mendes he gave all the cards we needed to measure him. For sure, Aldo is way better prepared for December 12th.
“I can guarantee Aldo is more prepared right now. Now that Conor fought Chad Mendes, we have ways to measure how fast he is, how powerful he is…” Bilharinho continued, “We know even better how Conor moves, how fast is his approach.
“After I saw the Chad Mendes fight I could have a whole new perception on his game. Aldo knew exactly everything about Chad because he fought Chad twice and he knows a lot about him. So, when a guy fights Chad it´s a very good way to measure this guy.
“When Conor fought Chad Mendes he gave all the cards we needed to measure him. For sure, Aldo is way better prepared for December 12th.”
Bilharinho himself is also preparing for his own title fight this Sunday when he fights Amaury Junior in the new Brazilian organisation 1st round combat for the featherweight title and he says training with Aldo on a daily basis has made him a better fighter.
“It’s great to have the opportunity to train with the best pound for pound fighter in the world. He is the number one. When I´m capable to test my skills against a guy like him it show’s me how good I am and how better I must get to be where he is right now.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, I’m enjoying every minute. I bet a lot of fighters would pay to be in my place right now. I´m grateful to Dedé Pederneiras and José Aldo. I only have to thank them.
“They are always thanking me for help, but I’m the one that has to thank them. Aldo is very good, by the way, well trained and well prepared for this fight. It´s a golden opportunity.”
Bilharinho, like McGregor, has gained a reputation for his phenomenal movement and different approach to fighting and says his gameplans are very similar to McGregor’s. In fact, it only took a few tweaks and changes to his own game to make his style similar to that of McGregor’s.
“It´s not [difficult] at all to mimic Conor,” he explained. “I’m not saying Conor is an easy guy to emulate. Of course not. But my game plan is very similar to his.
“We both are southpaws, we came from the same school, we both pick small combinations (1 or 1-2 or 1-2-3). We don’t go for the long combinations. We play our game on distance. It’s very easy for me to do this, it´s natural.
“I put some strikes here, I remove some strikes there and it´s Conor.”
The Brazilian southpaw is adamant that McGregor’s mind games and taunting both in and out of the octagon won’t faze Aldo.
“We know Conor is going to try to taunt Jose, but it will not work.”
Bilharinho isn’t just helping Aldo prepare for McGregor physically but more importantly mentally by constantly cursing and taunting him during training, a trait McGregor has become known for inside the octagon.
Bilharinho says that Aldo will be ready for McGregor’s taunting.
“I can guarantee McGregor’s mind games won’t be effective. We fight exactly as we train. It´s very [difficult] to see a guy put something up inside the octagon that he didn’t train before. Aldo is training for this.
“We are preparing him not only physically but mentally too. I´ve been cursing at him every single training session for the last two months. He is completely prepared for this. We know Conor is going to try to taunt Jose, but it will not work.”
Bilharinho expects it to be an interesting fight but says Aldo will beat McGregor in every department. He sees his fellow countryman winning by KO or submission.
“This fight can go to some many different places,” explained Bilharinho. “I cannot predict an ending. I only know Aldo is prepared everywhere. I only see this fight going for Aldo.”
Bilharinho claimed that the current champion is better than McGregor in every department.
“Of course, a fight is a fight but José Aldo is better than Conor in every single aspect. He’s got better conditioning and way more experienced. He is a better striker, a better wrestler – attacking and defending. He is way better in ground game.
“Thinking in all the skills separately, Aldo would sure win this fight. But as I said a fight is always a fight and we are polishing the last details to administrate better the risks.
“I can only see this fight going to Aldo by knockout or submission. I cannot see this fight going to distance. But I can only imagine this fight going for Aldo.”