Jose Aldo may be left cursing an Irish striker for the second time in illustrious career come this weekend’s end.
The Brazilian tops UFC 251 in a battle with Petr Yan for the vacant bantamweight title on Saturday night at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
The clash between the legend and emerging fan favourite is one the Mixed Martial Arts world is looking forward to – and there is plenty of Irish boxing interest to be had in the ESPN broadcast title fight.
The Russian has none other than John Hutchinson as part of his coaching set up.
‘The Buncranna Banger’ is ‘No Mercy’s’ strike coach – fulfilling the same role Phil Sutcliffe did for Conor McGregor ahead of his last UFC fight – and will be octagon side come Saturday night.
The Donegal native has become a Thai based teacher – and rather than coaching boxers in his home county he is a successful MMA corner man based on the picturesque island of Phuket.
The 33-year-old, who was quite nomadic as a fighter, trading leather in Ireland, the UK, America, Australia and Thailand has found himself back in the land of smiles and has become a UFC striking coach in the Tigermuaythai Phuket gym.
That is were he meet Yan six years ago and the pair have traveled together to world level.
“When we first met he had no English and I had a very thick Irish accent that anyone had trouble with. We actually laughed because we didn’t know what we were each saying,” said Hutchinson.
“But we didn’t need it. He had his body language, his smart IQ – and he is next level on the pads. I knew from that day this kid was something special. I wrote down in my notes from that day that he’d be world champion and I actually showed him that here in Abu Dhabi to remind him how far he has come.”
Speaking previously about his work with Yan and other fighters Hutchinson said: “I corner Petr Yan and Mosvar Evloev. When they arrive in camp we schedule and plan there camps from start to finish. There are conditioning coaches, MMA coaches and me as striking coach. It comes to together as team then and after we finish camp we corner them.
“For other MMA and UFC fighter I am just employed as there striking coaches by there main MMA coaches.
“There is a big different to boxing. Lots of things are different like keeping distance for knee and elbow strikes , but end of day its same tactics drilling hard hitting and hand speed over and over until they get it right. These guys are masters of learning their craft it’s a real joy.
“I love coaching , coaching ain’t work for me I wake up to coach day in day out and wouldn’t change a thing. Boxing is life!”