There are very few certainties in life, and even less so in MMA. There’s death, taxes, and apparently, Jose Aldo showing up to meet Conor McGregor in the Octagon at UFC 194.
The reigning featherweight king has heard all the talk about how McGregor remains skeptical that their long-awaited showdown on Dec. 12 will actually come to fruition, but the usually reserved Brazilian would like to put that doubt to rest for good.
“That’s for certain. I will be there,” Aldo said through a translator during a conference call. “That’s more certain than all of our deaths in the future.”
Aldo withdrew from a proposed clash with McGregor at UFC 189 in July due to a rib injury. The Irishman defeated short-notice replacement Chad Mendes via second-round technical knockout to capture the interim 145-pound title. During Thursday’s conference call, McGregor told reporters that he promised Aldo that he would not target the body if the champion had elected to compete at less than ideal health, a notion which the Brazilian dismisses entirely.
“That wasn’t even an issue at all. He’s not going to be able to find me in there anyway. He’s not going to be able to hit me in the body,” Aldo said. “The issue was the weight cut with the rib. Being there and winning the fight I’m gonna do regardless. The issue was something else and not him hitting me in the body.”
McGregor has ceaselessly mocked his rival since the Brazilian pulled out of the fight, calling the injury a bruise and questioning Aldo’s toughness. The man known as “Scarface” says there will be no excuses come Dec. 12.
“I’m 100 percent since my last fight, since I got back in it,” he said. “I’m healed up. I want the fight to happen. This is when it’s gonna happen, so I’m 100 percent right now.”
Despite absorbing McGregor’s barbs for the past several months, Aldo claims not to have any extra animosity toward his foe. Instead, the Nova Uniao product realizes that McGregor’s routine can be beneficial to him, as well.
“The guy is working for me,” Aldo said. “He’s basically making me money, so how can I be angry at him? I think he did very good for the weight class, so I’m happy with that.”
Aldo will enter the bout with an 18-fight winning streak that includes triumphs over the likes of Mendes, Ricardo Lamas, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian, Uriah Faber and Cub Swanson, to name a few. While he hasn’t fought in more than a year, he doesn’t expect this title defense to stray from what has become his exceptional norm.
“There’s really no difference. You will see me go in there and get the win,” Aldo said. “I really don’t care about how I win; I care about winning. The only difference is I always beat Americans; this time I’m going to beat an Irishman.”