Jose Aldo (left) believes he has already faced a challenger like Conor McGregor. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
LAS VEGAS -- Jose Aldo is not impressed with Conor McGregor.
The UFC featherweight champion is not moved by his upcoming challenger’s 5-0 UFC record, nor is he entertained by the Irishman’s colorful way of promoting fights. Nevertheless, McGregor has punched his ticket to a title shot at UFC 189, and the entire MMA world has perked up at the build toward what has become arguably the most anticipated featherweight fight in the history of the UFC.
Unlike many fans, Aldo simply isn’t caught up in the typhoon of hype that McGregor has brought to the fight. Sure, he appreciates the attention, but he just doesn’t see what the big deal is.
“This is like any other fight,” the Brazilian said during the Las Vegas stop of the world tour promoting their July 11 showdown. “I don’t care what he says, because if I did, I’d be f--ked.”
Aldo has said repeatedly that none of McGregor’s antics have gotten to him. Despite giving McGregor the middle finger, Aldo believes that the marketing strategy is all fun and games -- that is, until the two step into the cage. Then, Aldo says, McGregor will realize what he is up against.
The Brazilian already believes that he broke down McGregor when the two stared each other down last week in Rio de Janeiro, and Aldo said he can see right through the facade.
“After the staredown in Rio, I think he knows what he’s facing,” the champion said. “He asked me to face him, and I saw the fear in his eyes.”
McGregor is a master of trash talk, but Aldo doesn’t mind it at all. In fact, the champ is conscious of the importance of hyping up a big fight and said his one-gun salute to McGregor in Rio was simply a way to “make things more spicy for the fans.”
When asked if he’s faced anybody who talked as much trash as McGregor, Aldo pointed to an eight-second annihilation that got everyone’s attention during his tenure in World Extreme Cagefighting back in 2009.
“Cub Swanson talked a lot during fight week,” Aldo said with a grin. Now a highlight reel staple, Aldo’s knockout of Swanson served as the announcement that the young Brazilian had arrived. “On fight day, I ran right through him, so this will be the same.”
Perhaps McGregor should be careful what he wishes for.