After a dominant victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 for the Interim featherweight strap he once scoffed at, featherweight no.2 José Aldo has clarified the comments he made on Wednesday in which he suggested he had 'a few spies' in Frankie Edgar's training camp.
Aldo listed this as the reason why he didn't throw many of his patented leg-kicks during the course of his decision victory, causing some to question whether he had taken gamesmanship a step too far in the contest's aftermath.
Edgar's striking coach Mark Henry was quick to pour cold water over Aldo's insinuation in a blunt and honest assessment of his man's defeat. Speaking to MMA Fighting yesterday, Henry said:
I don't care. I couldn't care less. I think we should have been able to adjust anyway.
I believe I should have adjusted no matter what he did. I should have been smart enough to adjust. Right after the fight was over, there were 20 things I thought about that I should have adjusted.
I still haven't seen [the fight]. I won't watch it unless Frankie fights him again. I just messed up. I failed Frankie. That is my honest opinion.
Aldo, however, took to Instagram to backtrack on his comments and, rather weirdly (or typically, at this stage), cited Conor McGregor's previous antics as motivation behind his post-fight madness.
The Brazilian former pound-for-pound no.1 explained how he and his own team simply intuitively worked out Edgar's gameplan having already fought the 34-year-old New Jersey man at UFC 156, but that his 'spy' comments were essentially a throwback to some of The Notorious' psychological assaults from the build-up to UFC 194.
Guys now I've become invincible... Nobody can beat me and my spies... Sometimes we aren't taken seriously, and other times we joke around and get taken too seriously, so... let's clarify I've always fought fair. I got to the top through a lot of hard work- both mine and my team's. I am a principled person and fighter. My team is renowned for its development of tough, technical fighters but also for our collective character, and that's what we'll continue to be known for. I'd never do anything that goes against our principles. I fight clean, I fight fair, and I fight tough. When I talked about having spies in Edgar's camp, it was a reference to a comment Macgregor made before our fight. It was just a jab. Everyone knows you can't change up your entire strategy on fight week- of course Frankie's strategy was going to be everything that worked for him in our first fight- it was a no-brainer that he would try the same things. As to spies in camp, relax people...my spies are just in your heads. I'm ready for anyone, no spies required. Abraços to all.
It's became clear a couple of months ago that the man who dethroned him has had a profound effect on Aldo's mindset since that famous 13 seconds in Las Vegas.