The sheer hatred that is felt by the UFC’s featherweight champion Jose Aldo for their lightweight champion, Conor McGregor simply cannot be doubted at this stage. McGregor, who knocked out Aldo in just 13 seconds at UFC 194, seemed to spark something very dark and very deep in the formerly dominant 145lb kingpin.
Aldo’s mentality going into that fight was compromised, simple as. Conor’s mental warfare worked an absolute treat on the Brazilian and though the timing and the accuracy of the knockout blow cannot be understated, for many, the fight was over before the octagon doors had even closed.
Ever since then Conor has moved on to bigger and more outrageous things, defeating Eddie Alvarez to win himself a second UFC title, and then engaging in a memorable pair of contests with the durable and defiant Nate Diaz to record-breaking numbers.
The world has slowly become Conor’s oyster, and though Jose Aldo scored an impressive win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, it’s no secret that there’s only one man on his mind. Speaking recently to Combate in an exclusive interview, Jose Aldo did not hold back when speaking about his dissatisfaction with the current state of the sport.
“The UFC has been a mess for a while now. Not only for me, it’s been happening way before that. It embarrassed featherweight and now embarrasses lightweight. Khabib Nurmagomedov signed two contracts to fight for the title and still hasn’t. We also have Demian Maia waiting at welterweight and Ronaldo Jacare [Souza] is waiting for even longer than that .”
“It’s cool for me, I was a dominant champion for a long time, but what about Jacare’s situation? He’s always winning and doesn’t get his title shot. They tell him he’ll fight for the title and he never does. And it seems he never will. It’s a mess.”
From there, Jose inevitably moved on to his favourite subject of late, his greatest foe, Conor McGregor, who still – in his eyes – never was the featherweight champion, something he feels he would undoubtedly prove if they ever fought again.
“I knew I would be the champion and he knows what happened to me in that fight will never happen again,” Aldo said. “It was known I would be champion again so I don’t have a problem with the way it happened. I’ve always said that having the belt around my waist is all that matters. No matter what, I’m the champion. I don’t care about what his coach says. Who is his coach anyway? I don’t know who he is. Or him. They’re all pieces of sh*t.”
Strong words from Jose. It’s pretty clear that the animosity is real at this stage and it would definitely be interesting to see how well he holds up to the mental onslaught McGregor would unleash on him if they do indeed meet for a second time.
Honestly, though, I feel the barrage of insults would just have an even greater effect than the first time but who knows, Jose is a fantastic fighter and I think I speak for everyone who loves the sport when I say I would like to see him get a chance to prove what he is continuously claiming.
Because he will literally never shut up about it if he doesn’t.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena