José Aldo has made a lengthy statement in which he gave his own views on last weekend’s Mayweather-McGregor fight and explained his heavily-criticised reaction to his great rival’s defeat.
José Aldo is a man who could well hold the most vicious one-sided vendetta in MMA today. With us now almost two years removed from his crushing UFC 194 knockout loss to Conor McGregor, José has shown absolutely nothing that indicates that he has moved on from what was his most famous outing.
It’s understandable, of course, that Aldo feels robbed of his legacy. For ten years he ruled both the WEC and UFC’s featherweight divisions, defeating each and every comer through a combination of world-class muay-thai and a legendary fight IQ. Chad Mendes, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber and Frankie Edgar were just some of the heads he had gathered before he faced off against McGregor and when the fight was originally announced for UFC 189, Aldo was instantly favoured in the matchup and was expected to derail the so-called hype train that had followed the Irishman as he stampeded his way through every 145lb-r in his path before his shot at the belt.
Of course, doubters were proven wrong once again as McGregor managed to take Aldo out in a grand total of thirteen seconds, leaving the MGM Grand that night as the UFC’s new featherweight champion and the promotion’s biggest star.
Aldo never really seemed to recover from that massive setback and despite winning the 145lb belt back with a truly masterful performance against Frankie Edgar, he succumbed to a vicious TKO loss at the hands of Max Holloway at UFC 212, losing his title once again and bringing his record over the last three fights to 1-2.
McGregor himself, has, of course, moved on to bigger and better things, taking on Floyd Mayweather inside the boxing ring last weekend in what amounted to the most extravagant spectacle in the history of combat sports but despite the fact that Conor did a good job at earning the respect of the masses through his gutsy performance, Aldo was quick to kick the ‘Notorious One’ while he was down, something that angered virtually everyone who saw it, McGregor fan or not.
— Jose Aldo Junior (@josealdojunior) August 27, 2017
Now, in a recent public appearance in which he was promoting the opening of a new restaurant (via MMAJunkie), Aldo has given his full thoughts on the fight and why he still chooses to detract from the Irishman despite his valiant effort over the ten rounds he fought through in what was his pro-boxing debut.
“First of all, I didn’t even watch the fight. I was at a football game. It’s a No. 1 sport for me. I’m very passionate about it, Rams and Chargers. So I didn’t even watch the fight. I don’t know. I have people who take care of my social media.
“I can’t even talk about what happened, because I didn’t watch the fight. I talked about it a lot. I was surrounded by boxers where I was, and they talked about the fight. But I didn’t watch it myself.
“You know every athlete has people who handle their social media – who work their social media.”
It’s hard to know exactly what you can take as truth from that statement. Aldo seems repeatedly to take the stance that he is in no way interested in Conor McGregor’s fights. Even if he didn’t watch the fight like he says, it seems likely that José is simply deflecting blame due to the overwhelmingly negative reaction to his outburst.
As far as the fight itself and the ‘moral victory’ many had given McGregor due to his effort, Aldo – not surprisingly – went against the grain with his response.
“I spent this entire time with them, and they said that was going to happen. Conor doesn’t have good cardio, and (they) knew he’s not used to boxing. Mayweather was closed up, just waiting for the time to pounce. The guy hadn’t fought for two years.
“Moral? First of all, you try to prove that with someone who’s almost 41, who’s been away. Of course, it was a money fight. A moral victory would have been taking on an active boxer, a champion, and then fought him. And then you’d see how he would barely last a round. Because it’s an entirely different sport. We need to put ourselves in our places.
“I’m an MMA athlete. I can’t go tomorrow and say I’m going to do muay Thai in Thailand with a Thai fighter, because I can punch and kick well. There’s no way. Each one in their places. I respect martial arts, so I put myself in my place. I don’t see a moral victory.”
Pretty standard answer from José there, the man just doesn’t seem to be able to give Conor any credit at all when it comes to virtually anything but still, given the fact that his near-ten year legacy was ripped apart in a grand total of thirteen seconds, I suppose his point of view can be understood to some extent, especially given the absolute trouncing his great rival gave him over the course of their ridiculously long media tour back in 2015.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena