In the weeks leading up to his massive UFC featherweight title unification fight with Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor sat down for an exclusive interview with Gareth Davies of BT Sport.
Asked how he envisioned the fight going, McGregor uttered a line that would soon become infamous for it’s eerie accuracy.
“I see him overreacting, over extending, then KO’d unconscious,” said the Irishman, whose prognostications to that point had already earned him the nickname ‘Mystic Mac’.
When the two finally did face each other in the octagon, Aldo wildy lunged and overextended on a right-hand, left-hook combination after a series of feints from his opponent, only for McGregor to slide back adroitly and deliver a crunching counter with his own lauded left. Aldo careened face first towards the canvas, where his already dimmed lights were shut out by a brief but brutal barrage of hammer-fists.
What about the build-up to the fight had led McGregor to make his prediction, which turned out to be so prophetic?
Before he delivered the beautiful soundbyte already quoted, McGregor said that Aldo was too “emotionally invested” and this would cause him to make rash decisions, as well as to overreact in response to the slightest feint.
Tormented by McGregor throughout a near-year-long promotional campaign, Aldo did enter the cage looking like a shadow of the man that had reigned as king of the featherweight division for some 6 years and who had been undefeated for over a decade.
In the seconds just before the Brazilian great stepped into the octagon’s centre to finally confront the brash SBG representative, UFC commentator Joe Rogan summed up the mood.
“Conor looks extremely loose and Aldo looks like he’s feeling the pressure of this moment,” he said.
About 15 seconds later, and only 13 seconds into the bout itself, Aldo was being rescued by referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy and it was hard not to believe the narrative that developed later – one which suggested that McGregor’s oft-discussed mind games had played a role in the outcome.
This assumption, that Aldo had been psychologically defeated by McGregor before being physically defeated, is somewhat backed up by a video released to You Tube yesterday by Fight Affect. This video includes enhanced audio from the fighter’s respective corners, as well as the translations of what Aldo’s coaches are saying. And one can’t help but sense desperation in the Brazilian camp’s attempts to both calm and reassure their veteran fighter. In the McGregor camp, there is an obvious confidence and a loudly expressed belief that Aldo doesn’t want to be there.
You can watch the video below…