Former two-weight UFC champion, ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor has once more showered praise on past-opponent, former featherweight kingpin, Jose Aldo ‘Jr.’ — describing the Manaus veteran as a “warrior” as well as insisting he would have liked to have rematched the Brazilian off the back of their December 2015 showdown.
McGregor, who is still recovering from recent surgery to repair a fractured tibia in his left leg, last featured at UFC 264 in July, where he suffered an opening round doctor’s stoppage TKO against rival, Dustin Poirier as a result of his leg injury. The defeat marked the 33-year-old’s second consecutively.
Off the back of his loss and subsequent surgical procedure in California, McGregor recently shared his thoughts on the bantamweight run of former featherweight champion, Aldo, calling the striker a “real legend” after his UFC 265 co-headliner against Pedro Munhoz, where he scored an impressive unanimous decision victory.
Knocking on the door of a second bantamweight title challenge most likely, Aldo spoke after the bout with compatriot, Munhoz, where he maintained a rematch with McGregor would “never” occur — having attempted to book a re-run against the Dubliner following their UFC 194 matchup.
“That’s what I don’t understand, brother,” Aldo said. “Back when it (rematch) should have happened like they are going (to make) rematches and trilogies, I didn’t have the opportunity, no one considered anything, and each one went their way. Now that the situation has inverted again, it feels like they have the obligation to book it.“
“No, I don’t see myself fighting Conor (McGregor),” Aldo explained. “Never, I think. I can even say that. It might happen tomorrow, but that’s not the path. I root for him today, I hope he recovers from the injury and fights again at the highest level, and becomes champion again because that way he and I will always be together. No matter if I’m down and he’s up or the other way around, people will always put our names together, and that way we carry each other up.“
Reacting to McGregor’s gruesome leg injury against Poirier, Aldo explained how he felt upset, but believes McGregor can reclaim Octagon gold if he dedicates himself to a career comeback.
Speaking with a Brazilian fan in Beverley Hills over the weekend, McGregor again issued praise toward Aldo, as well as claiming that he would have “loved” to have scored another fight against him.
“Good to see (Jose) Aldo have a good win the other week, I’m happy to see that,” McGregor said. “I tell you what, what a warrior, what a warrior that man (Aldo) is. It was an honor to share the Octagon [with him], I would have loved to do it again, you know, he deserved more I thought, but you know — a lot of respect for Jose Aldo and the Brazilians.“
Meeting in a featherweight title unification clash back in December 2015 at UFC 194, then-interim gold holder, McGregor stopped Aldo with a stunning 13-second first round knockout at the MGM Grand, successfully unifying the titles as well as lodging the fastest knockout win in UFC championship fight history.
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