Image Credit: USA Today Sports

Jose Aldo didn’t lean on his feared leg kicks during his stoppage loss to Max Holloway in June, but the latter say he hopes the former champ fires off plenty of kicks in their rematch.

Holloway’s first title defense was supposed to be against Frankie Edgar at UFC 218, December 2nd, but the featherweight contender was forced out with a facial injury. The UFC turned to Aldo, who was preparing for a bout with Ricardo Lamas on December 16th, and the rematch was booked.

Immediately after their first encounter at UFC 212, a lot of fans and observers questioned why Aldo had been so boxing heavy against Holloway. Then, several days after the Hawaiian star’s win, Aldo’s coach reported that the Brazilian had been dealing with a leg injury, and that’s why he didn’t throw many kicks.

More recently, Holloway spoke to ESPN about his upcoming rematch with Aldo, and while doing so, he said the following:

“That was kind of cowardly to me,” said Holloway, while referring to the revelation Aldo’s coach made, regarding why he didn’t throw leg kicks. “To say something like that and take away from someone’s win. I’ve never taken away from someone’s win. I just thought it was silly.

“Hopefully he doesn’t have an injury this time, and hopefully he kicks more. Kicks don’t — the guy was dead tired in the second round. There’s a feeling in there when a guy is falling off.

“His mouth was open. I was able to taunt him. I Stockton-slapped him, and from then on I knew, ‘Wow, this guy is not really moving anymore.’ That was the time to turn up the heat, and that’s what we did.”

It will very interesting to see how the rematch unfolds. One thing’s for certain, not too many fighters want to absorb Aldo’s leg kicks. That aside, all the momentum is behind Holloway as the fight approaches. The champ, who is only 25, has won 11 straight fights.

UFC 218 will be hosted by Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.