Audio recordings from the corners of the McGregor-Aldo fight at UFC 194 are released, showing the contrasting attitudes of the fighters. While the Brazilian’s corner repeatedly tells Aldo to calm down, the fighter says:
Stay calm, go calm. You are the champion. That is you.
As Aldo enters the octagon, an Irish voice that is likely to be Coach Kavanagh says:
Welcome to hell…He doesn’t wanna be in here.
At a press conference for his upcoming fight against Holloway in UFC 212, Aldo says he is now willing to trash talk his opponents.
I think that this rivalry [with Holloway] is great because it sells more and gives us money. We’re going through a new generation now that is completely different than when I started in the sport. When I started, athletes fought for honor, respect, philosophy. Today, it’s not a real fighter. It’s this joke. If you don’t talk, you fight for nothing, you’ll be left behind…Rankings mean nothing, you have to talk trash. What drives this [sport] today is money, and that’s super normal to me now. I made a lot of money [against McGregor], and I’m thinking about it now. I think about continuing being champion and having my honor and respect, but it’s not worth being the good guy anymore.
In an interview with The Irish Mirror, Coach Kavanagh says McGregor wrote him an essay on everything he did wrong after knocking out Aldo for the world featherweight title.
When I meet someone in sport or business I’m always interested to find out, how did they get over their biggest loss? I’ve had plenty of losses and failures but it’s about what you do with them. You don’t see a loss or a failure as a reason to quit you see it as an opportunity to learn. Conor and I have done that since day one. We’ve had plenty of losses in the cage but we use them to improve ourselves, come back and have plenty of wins too. Certainly at the beginning if Conor had a loss he would treat it as a reason to quit and I’d have to drag him down from his house. But that doesn’t happen anymore. You see him at his last loss, as soon as the fight was over he was analysing what he did wrong. He was humble in defeat. We got back in the gym, got ourselves a four- month plan and showed the world what we can do with a loss. If I have a fighter and after a win they go on a bender for four-and-a-half weeks, I forget about them. They’re wasting my time. I always use this story that when Conor beat Aldo to unify the 145 level, he argues it was an 11- second fight but it was 13 seconds on the record book, one punch and it was over. But he’s the most self-critical fighter I’ve ever met, and that night we went out for a bit and when we came home he wrote me an essay on everything he’d done wrong. It was only a 13 second fight.
Aldo says McGregor will not fight Mayweather, because of UFC contract rules.
We have a contract with the UFC, every athlete does, and everything has to go through the UFC. It’s hard for Mayweather to accept a fight with [McGregor] being a UFC fighter. He does boxing events, so it’s 80 percent for him and 20 percent for the rest. It’s the opposite in the UFC. The UFC makes 80 and athletes make 20. That’s what happens. That’s the real story. So it’s not about Conor signing the contract or not, it’s Mayweather accepting to make less, or make his event.
He also says he will never fight McGregor again:
Never. Never. I think it was close once. Today, with this fight between the UFC and him, from both sides. The UFC has tried to do this fight, and he didn’t want it. He’s running. He won’t accept it. But we’ll see. I don’t know if this fight happens. I don’t think about McGregor today. I couldn’t care less what he’s doing. Like I said, I want to remain champion, I want big fights. If one day I fight him, great. If not, I’ll continue my life, continue being champion, continue being the same person, fighting and winning. I don’t think about Conor today. I only talk about Conor because you ask. F-ck him.
Aldo says McGregor cannot fight Mayweather without the permission of the UFC.
It will never happen. This will only happen if the UFC wants to. It could be against Mayweather or anyone else, if a fighter has a contract with the UFC, nobody can go over the UFC.
He also says McGregor is not as well liked as he thinks.
McGregor’s reputation is already bruised. The only ones who like him are the Irish people, no-one else. If you ask in Brazil or in any other country, nobody cheers for him, no one considers him a champion, they always consider him a piece of shit.
Also vs Holloway will take place at UFC 212 on June 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Aldo says McGregor cannot beat Mayweather.
First of all, we don’t know if it will happen or not. there are a lot of things involved, mainly McGregor has a contract to follow so it’s hard to happen, but if it happens, I don’t think he has a chance. Mayweather has the experience of competing for years in the sport of boxing, so I don’t see how. Of course, it’s a fight, but it’s hard for us MMA fighters to go to a different world challenging one of the best in the history. I don’t see a result different than a win for Mayweather.
Aldo claims he doesn’t care about McGregor.
I hope Conor gets fucked, that’s what matters to me. I don’t give a damn about him. I’ve already said he’s shit, so what he does or doesn’t do, I don’t care. I worry about myself. I’m training to defend my belt. I want to fly higher.
Aldo says he wants to start a boxing career.
I think about having a career in boxing, but I want to start from the bottom, start from zero. I want to get ranked and one day fight for a belt. I don’t want to fight just to fight, for money, to go after big fights and challenge a great champion. I respect every boxer, but I want to start from the bottom. I want a career in boxing. That was my biggest dream, to one day become champion in MMA and boxing. That is my biggest dream.
Garabrant talks about his next opponents.
TJ Dillashaw is someone I really want to fight. He was never the champion. He held a fake title. He’ was walking around as a fake champion. So that’s what I’d like to get back for everyone on the team…There’s Jose Aldo. He’s a legend in the sport and a great match up stylistically. And there’s Conor. Conor’s still out there whenever he wants to come back. There’s a lot of fights for me. I want to defend my title…Whether it’s Aldo or Conor McGregor. Might even be Jeremy Stevens. I’ll slap the shit out of him…Here’s how I have it planned: TJ next cos’ Dominick doesn’t want to do the rematch. I offered it it to him right after the fight…but he respectfully declined, for reasons. TJ looks next, but after I dismantle TJ, Dominick might get back confidence and want to challenge me.
Despite initially saying he wanted a rematch with Dominick Cruz, Garbrandt now says he wants to go up against Aldo.
I need to sit down with [UFC bosses] and find out the biggest money fight for me. I know I can go up and fight with Jose Aldo. You know, he has wins over my teammates, he’s a legend and I’d like to test his chin. I know I hit hard, I’m just getting started. And I also know the biggest fight’s with Conor [McGregor]. I can easily go up like my homie Nate Diaz, and choke him out and I can’t believe he’s the number 2 [pound for pound] when he got choked out…I’ll fight anybody, but to be honest, I truly believe I’m ready to fight…and I’m a draw. And I want the biggest money fight for me right now. I think I saw that Jose Aldo would like to fight me, I would like to test his chin. Whatever benefits me, I’m the champ.
Pederneiras, Aldo’s coach says the UFC should confirm that Aldo is going to fight McGregor.
I think it’s time for the UFC to say something and back up everything we’re saying. It sounds like we’re just saying stuff, but throughout all of this I’ve received messages, e-mails with proposals, everything. On our end, Aldo is in no way a liar. I think it’s time for people to know the truth, and that’s the truth. You can ask [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby if there’s a single lie in everything I’m saying. Our intention was always to defend the belt. Because a champion who doesn’t defend at least once doesn’t really stamp his championship belt. [Aldo] himself said it: I won my belt, I’ll defend it now – this in a conversation between us – and we’ll go after Conor. When Sean Shelby told me the fight wasn’t happening on Feb. 11, I said, ‘Sean, we’re now in a complicated situation. Our plans for this year would be this fight, challenging the No. 1 [lightweight] challenger, which would be Khabib – we want to get the toughest guy in the division, who everyone, say, runs from – and then, after that, Conor, who’s pregnant and will only fight after that. Both Sean Shelby and Dana White thought it was a brilliant idea, sensational. So that Aldo could be at a situation in which there was no way Conor could sit and say, ‘I won’t fight him’. The only request that I have is that, humbly, either Khabib or Ferguson take the fight.“In case both have injury issues that I don’t know of, which I understand, that the fight is directly with Conor
Despite being current featherweight champion, Aldo says he expects his next fight to be for the interim lightweight after Max Holloway refused to fight him at UFC 208.
No, the Brooklyn fight is not happening. I now expect and believe I will be fighting in early March. Either March 3 or March 4, I can’t remember. I believe they will soon announce an interim lightweight title fight with me. They’ve been trying to find me an opponent, and surprise, surprise at least one has already turned down the fight against me. I’m waiting to see who they will find.
He says he will go after McGregor in the lightweight division.
I’m flexible about my opponent. I even said, ‘Why don’t I go up in weight class and fight the No. 1 or No. 2 contender and start setting up a rematch with McGregor?’ There was some enthusiasm for that idea, but my understanding is, some fighters turned down that fight.
In an interview with Helwani, Aldo talks about McGregor’s claim to be the real featherweight champ.
First of all, I never stopped being the champion. When I lost to Conor, he should have rematched me right away. Like I’ve always said and done, the champion is the guy who defends the belt against all challengers. Guys who run from title defenses are not champions. All Conor did was he beat the champion. But he never did what he had to do to become the champion. He’s never been the champion of the featherweight division…He’s two-faced. He says a lot of stuff to the press, but behind-the-scenes, he turns down fights left and right. He picks opponents, he picks events. He’s not willing to face challengers the way a champion should be ready to face challengers. That’s not a true champion. He spent a year without defending the belt, so his math doesn’t add up when he says, I was the champion for less than 12 months. He wasn’t the champion at all. He never defended the belt. He wanted to stall an entire division. That’s not being a champion. I’ve never seen Conor as the featherweight champion. He’s not the champion now. I’ve never stopped being the featherweight champion. I went to bed one night believing the UFC was going to announce my rematch with Conor McGregor and I woke up to read the news that they booked Eddie Alvarez instead. My conversations with the UFC were, ‘It’s happening. We’re booking it.’ And then literally overnight something changed without my participation. The bottom line is, Conor doesn’t want to fight me. There’s nothing else I can do. I don’t think there’s anything else the UFC can do. If he keeps saying no and keeps running away, he’s going to keep running away. He’s a clown.
Accepted accepts Holloway’s challenge from the ring, where he called him ‘Waldo’:
He’s saying ‘where’s Aldo?’, you have to talk to the UFC. About the fight in February, I already knew that, I only didn’t know who I would fight. It was between him and Pettis, whoever won the fight. It’s not something new. This fight will happen on February. 11.
But now Holloway now appears not to be so sure:
It’s news to me. I guess we found where Waldo is so I’m glad. It’s time to see what happens. We’re going to talk to the UFC, see what UFC says or see if he’s just trying to [expletive] start some shit. Like I said, I’m not planning on giving up Christmas and my son’s birthday for something that’s going to be booked and Feb. 11 comes up and we’re going to be [expletive] looking at where’s Jose Waldo. That guy is crazy. I just looked and it’s eight weeks out already. That’s why that motherf-cker wants to fight. He wants me to be all drained out from two training camps in a row but that shit ain’t going to happen.
Aldo criticises the UFC, McGregor and Kavanagh:
The UFC has been a mess for a while now. Not only for me, it’s been happening way before that. It embarrassed featherweight and now embarrasses lightweight. Khabib Nurmagomedov signed two contracts to fight for the title and still hasn’t. We also have Demian Maia waiting at welterweight and Ronaldo Jacare [Souza] is waiting for even longer than that. It’s cool for me, I was a dominant champion for a long time, but what about Jacare’s situation? He’s always winning and doesn’t get his title shot. They tell him he’ll fight for the title and he never does. And it seems he never will. It’s a mess…I knew I would be the champion and he knows what happened to me in that fight will never happen again. It was known I would be champion again so I don’t have a problem with the way it happened. I’ve always said that having the belt around my waist is all that matters. No matter what, I’m the champion. I don’t care about what his coach says. Who is his coach anyway? I don’t know who he is. Or him. They’re all pieces of shit.
New footage is released of Aldo on the canvas after being knocked out by McGregor at UFC 194. In the video, Aldo, confused and disorientated, is helped by his team.
White says McGregor decided to give up the featherweight title of his own volition before Aldo was named the division’s undisputed champion.
Look, I let Conor fight [Nate] Diaz and then I let him fight Diaz again. Then there was the whole 155-pound thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were [angry]…I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, Well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.
On The MMA Hour Helwani criticises the UFC’s handling of the removal of McGregor’s belt.
They botched it. They botched it epically. They botched it because if you’re going to go ahead and strip Conor, then Holloway /Pettis needs to be for the real belt, and you say to Jose Aldo that you’re getting the first crack at the champion of this interim title, you’ve been talking about retirement, you’ve been talking about not fighting again, you’ve been talking about throwing fights, we don’t know the state of your career is, so we’re making Holloway/Pettis the real championship fight, because we just stripped the biggest draw and the biggest star of his belt. It’s a disservice to Holloway and Pettis, who are going to have an amazing fight in a couple of weeks, it’s a disservice to Jose Aldo, and it’s a disservice to Conor McGregor.
Aldo says he plans to defend his title in February or March, most likely against the winner of December’s interim title bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis at UFC 206. After that, Aldo is targeting a rematch with McGregor.
I think both are very tough fights for him, either at lightweight with Khabib [Nurmagomedov] or a rematch with me. So he chose to let go of mine. It’s no problem. Of course, first I want to do a [title] defense and then, yes, I will want to pursue a fight with [McGregor]…I think I’ve always been the champion, and I will always be the champion. As long as I’m at featherweight, no matter what happens, I’ll keep being the champion. So this, for me, was something that was already certain. The minute I lost, I knew, the next day, the belt would be mine again. It was just a matter of time…That was a fact I knew would happen, that he would drop a belt, my belt or the lightweight. It’s a tough fight for him at lightweight, with Khabib [Nurmagomedov], or a rematch with me, so he preferred to drop mine (belt). No problem…I lost that fight because of an accident. I knew that I would win a rematch, that I would be champion again. It’s not my fault that he’s such a pu–y he was never the champion. I don’t see myself losing to anyone in this division or any other [division]….Of course, [it was] not the way I wanted, but I’m happy because I know I’m the champion…now we’re already making the arrangements to fight in the future. I think maybe in February or March we’ll be fighting hopefully. I don’t want to wait too long because it’s been a while since my last fight. I don’t want to go too long without fighting.”
The UFC confirms McGregor has vacated his featherweight title, and that Aldo, who defeated Frankie Edgar for the interim title at UFC 200 in July 2016, is now the undisputed champion of the division. The UFC 206 main event on Dec. 10 between Max Holloway and former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will be contested for the interim featherweight title.
Helwani reports that the UFC wants Pettis to fight Holloway for the interim 145 pound title in December in Toronto. This would be the main card fight after the Daniel Cornier-Anthony Johnson fight was cancelled due to injury. This means that the organisation will strip McGregor of his featherweight belt, reinstating it to Jose Aldo.
McGregor comments on the fighters like Aldo, who are complaining about their treatment by UFC.
Tell me one time that crying and moaning, tell me one time that’s good for progression. It’s not. Where would you be if I wasn’t here? Be grateful that you’re even in the conversation. Keep your head down, keep working, stay focused, stay positive, that’s the way to go forward. Not crying, moaning, complaining. I can’t engage in that. I wish them well, but I’m on something different here.
McGregor posts to Instagram.
Silva says McGregor fears Aldo, and that Aldo should not leave UFC.
McGregor fears Aldo, which is understandable. I would be scared, too. Aldo is hands down the best fighter in the division and you can’t just mess with someone like that. When you mess with a fighter like that, it’s not about the money anymore. My dad used to say you don’t mess with a man. So don’t mess with Aldo. If you want his fans and his show, you need to respect him and not make empty promises…But if I could give Aldo a piece of advice today, it would be for him to calm down and think about his fans. He’s still very young and has 10, 12 fights left in him and he can’t leave his fans, like me, without that fight and many others he can still have. Besides, he can still bring a lot of joy to our country.
Aldo will meet with UFC bosses next week to discuss his grievances with the company, and his desires to be released from his contract.
[Dana White] can offer me anything. I started to get unmotivated back then, when I lost the belt. I was the champion for so long I had the right to get an immediate rematch and they didn’t give it to me, and I wanted to walk in a different direction but ‘Dede’ [Aldo’s coach: Pederneiras] made me fight again. I went there, fought and won, and again [the McGregor fight] didn’t come. I have no desire to fight again. I don’t have any excitement to fight anymore. I have other projects in my life. I wanted to retire as champion and I’m the champion today. I want to follow another path. If they release me, that would be great, but if not, what can we do? I have other projects and that depends on this meeting we’re having with them. If I want to retire, no contract can stop me. I can go there and say [I’m retired] and they can’t force me to fight. A lawyer already looked at the contract, but I don’t want to fight. I don’t want anything.
Pettis says McGregor should be able to go after two belts, considering he was trying the same.
I wanted to do it so I can’t say he shouldn’t be able to do it…I was trying to do that when I was champ. I called out Jose Aldo right after I won the belt at lightweight, it was supposed to happen, it didn’t happen for reasons. I think right now, Conor he’s doing his thing. He’s a guy that’s winning fights, he’s knocking guys out, he’s fighting guys like Nate Diaz but he’s winning fights, what can you say…When I won the belt, the first thing I said was ‘Jose Aldo we have unfinished business.’ That was my plan way back when I was the champ. He’s selling the tickets, he’s selling the fights, he’s winning the fights and people want to watch him fight.
He is hoping for a fight with Aldo:
If Jose Aldo wants it, I’m ready to go. I think he’s more frustrated than actually trying to retire. I don’t think he’s going to retire where he’s at right now. He obviously wants that (Conor) fight back, Conor’s busy, I’m there. I think that’s the fight that makes sense for him. If Jose Aldo’s retired, give me Max Holloway. If Max Holloway don’t want to fight, give me Nate Diaz. I don’t care. I’m here to fight.
When asked if a fight with McGregor would stop his retirement from UFC, Aldo says:
No. Not even that. “If anything, that should have been what happened. This fight is the fight that should have been made as the next fight at 145[lbs]. I earned this. I earned this since I first arrived at UFC. Because I’ve seen other champions losing and getting immediate rematches. But, in my case, they made me fight for the interim belt instead. I did it, and I won. And even now, I don’t have any perspective for my future. So for me, not even a fight against McGregor. I don’t care if he is fighting someone else. I couldn’t care less how he manages his career. I want to follow my own path. So the only way for them to make things right with me, is by releasing me.
Aldo says he does not want to fight on another promotion.
It’s hard for me. If there’s something good [the UFC can do] is release me. I don’t want to fight for other promotion. I’m at the level above. There’s no reason why leave the first division to fight at the second division when I’m well appreciated in the first division, it would mean taking a step back. I don’t want to fight for another promotion.
And comments on McGregor:
Everybody knows he’s scared to fight [me]. He knows how dangerous I am for him for the fact that my last fight, everybody said that I had a safe performance and if I fight this way I don’t lose to anyone. I’ve seen him in press conferences saying that he would fight with Frankie Edgar but not against me. I think he’s scared.
Aldo claims St-Pierre wanted a $10 million payout to fight McGregor. St-Pierre hasn’t fought since 2013, when he scraped by Johny Hendricks in the last defence of his welterweight title before he vacated his belt and stepped away from the fight game. Aldo:
I think that my life and the whole featherweight division needs to keep going, not being stalled while he (McGregor) does three fights in the lightweight division… Another one that he wanted to do, make a super fight with Georges St-Pierre, which didn’t work out because Georges wanted $10 million and Dana didn’t want to pay it. So he still put him with Nate for the second time. So for me, Dana’s word is worthless.
In an interview with Yahoo, Aldo says he has several reasons for wanting to leave UFC, including the lack of a quick rematch with McGregor and not being paid bonuses.
Conor is not my issue. My issue is that I feel Dana is not in control any more. It’s a runaway train. Things have been promised and not delivered and he’s no longer in charge, no longer the boss…My dissatisfaction has been brewing for a long time. Before my loss to McGregor when I had to pull out of our first fight [scheduled for UFC 189 in July], I was not happy with the way the UFC spun my rib injury. I was not happy to see them mischaracterise my injury and not support me as I had to pull out of that fight….When I lost to Conor McGregor, I had been undefeated for nearly 10 years. I think if anybody deserved an immediate rematch, it was me against Conor in those circumstances. It was a quick fight. I got caught and the fans in the arena didn’t really get to see a full fight. I think that for everything I’d already achieved for the sport and my record, it was a rematch I deserved immediately and without a doubt.
I hear a lot of people say the reason I don’t call the shots and that I’m not happy with my income is that I don’t sell fights. People have said that to me and they’ve said it about me. I’ve heard people say, Jose needs to be a better marketer; he needs to sell his fights more. But that’s not the philosophy I was raised with…Where the sport is going is not respectful. The people who are selling fights are people who are giving each other the middle finger, throwing objects at press conferences, getting caught snorting cocaine and making headlines for all kinds of wrong reasons. What I was taught and what I believe in is, I do my best inside the cage. I believe people want to watch me for my ability as an athlete…If the direction the sport is going is you’ve got to make headlines for the wrong reasons in order to be worthy of respect and in order to be worthy of the right income, it’s not something I’ll ever be on board with.
He also says he is considering a career in professional soccer.
Aldo’s coach says that the fighter’s stance is not a bluff.
In my mind, from the conversations we had, he no longer wants to fight for the UFC. I’m traveling today. Hopefully, I’ll have a meeting with the matchmakers. I believe Dana will be at this event, so we can sit down and figure out the best way to terminate the contract…Yesterday we talked and he said he doesn’t want anything, not even millions of dollar proposals. In his head, he wants out…We’d talked about (this decision), because he’d already said, ‘If they screw me over this time, I’ll stop fighting for the UFC.’ And we believed it wouldn’t happen – also because of Dana’s statements…We thought, ‘If he’s going to fight in the upper division, we’ll keep the belt and fight either (Max) Holloway or (Anthony) Pettis. If he takes the rematch against us, I’ll fight him directly, all good, problem solved.
White says that he has no intention of letting Aldo go.
We won’t cancel his contract. We know he got very emotional. We respect Jose Aldo very much. We care for the people around him…Khabib Nurmagomedov wanted a fight on the card and we got it for him. I’m sure we can find something nice for Aldo as well.
After White tells Combate TV that he will try to fix Aldo’s resignation from UFC, Aldo calls the station to say he wants the UFC President to leave him alone, and that he not only wishes to be released from the UFC, he wants to retire from MMA permanently.
Not even fight MMA, too. It has reached a limit now. I talked to ‘Dede’ a long time ago and he convinced me to continue. I went to the Frankie Edgar fight and won. I fought to win for ‘Dede’. I’m not angry or upset now, nothing. I never fought for money, I had a good career and legacy as featherweight champion. If [Dana] likes me and my family, I just hope he releases me. I don’t want a fight. I want to leave as I came in. The UFC and WEC didn’t give me anything. Everything I conquered was my merit and from my team. Nobody gave me anything. I conquered everything. And I gave them a lot more than they gave me back. I just want them to release me from my contract. I’m not a whore to sell myself [for money]. I don’t even want to fight MMA. I want to follow a career in another sport. That’s what I want.
Aldo requests to quit the UFC.
I heard about everything that happened through my coach. He had spoken with [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby Saturday and Sean still had no answer about anything, and asked if I could fight on November 12. My coach said that if it would be Conor, yes, and then Sean asked him if I would fight Max Holloway or Anthony Pettis. ‘Dede’ [Pederneiras] said that for those who I’d rather do a full camp and it could be on December 10.
We waited until Dana publicly said that he wanted this fight with McGregor to happen. And then we expected it to happen: I’d get my rematch to unify the featherweight belts, or I’d have my belt back and fight Holloway or Pettis, since Dana [White] said all the time that Conor couldn’t keep both belts.
But, to my surprise, I heard last night about the fight between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, which was also denied by Dana last week. And to make it worse, he would keep the featherweight belt, and possibly having two belts at the same time.
After all this, I see I can’t trust any word from president Dana White, and who’s in charge of the promotion now is Conor McGregor. Since I’m not here to be an employee of McGregor, today I ask to cancel my contract with the UFC. After being fooled so many times, I don’t feel motivated to fight in the UFC anymore.
White says he plans to have Alvarez defend his belt against Nurmagomedov, and McGregor to defend his belt against Aldo. Nurmagomedov says he has signed two contracts to fight Alvarez: one for UFC 205 in New York in November and another to fight him at UFC 206 in Toronto in December. However, Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, and McGregor appears to want to fight Alvarez. Reports of a McGregor injury affecting the fight are dismissed by White:
Conor’s foot is hurt, but he thinks he can fight. I want him to fight Aldo.
Alvarez wants to fight McGregor, because it’s an easy fight and it’s a lot of money to fight him. But he has to fight me. Dana White has told me, ‘He is fighting you. He has to fight you.’ His record is only 2-1 in the UFC and he loses like a chicken to Cowboy [Cerrone]. How did he even get a title shot? I don’t know why he is so scared to fight me…I would have to be careful in the first [round] because he does punch hard. In the second, I would start to catch him and in the third, I’d finish him. Mentally, he’s already lost to me…All I want is 25 minutes in the cage with Alvarez…Put me in a cage somewhere with him and lock the door. Then I can show the world who the best really is.
Aldo says he prays every night for a chance at a McGregor rematch, but will settle for a fight with Pettis.
Every night I ask god ‘Please give me another chance. Let me get into the octagon against him. I know it will be different this time’…[However] If [a fight with McGregor] doesn’t end up happening, I do rather a fight against [Anthony] Pettis. I think nowadays…I learned a few things with [the UFC]. There’s more than just the ranking, like there is a ranking order for title-shots. No. I have to tend to the business side too. I think a fight against Pettis will sell a lot more than one against Holloway.
The pair were supposed to meet for Aldo’s featherweight crown at UFC 163 in August of 2013, but Pettis withdrew with a knee injury.
Aldo says that, during the promo tour for UFC 189, he got to see a different side of McGregor, contradicting his many complaints about McGregor’s conduct in the past.
[The relationship] is friendly, quiet. For me, I see no problem with him doing his marketing, and seeing the financial side, it was very good. If I had more fights with him in the featherweight division, it would be very profitable, but I am not his friend, he can go one way and I go to the other. I’ve seen him stand facing the wall, staring at nothing and everyone trying to provoke him, and he has a glazed look. He’s a normal, quiet guy, but if you see a camera or an Irish person close, he turns. Outside you see him laughing, joking, talking usual — but then he turns in such a way that you think: ‘son of a bitch’…Sometimes you play jokes and he is laughing. There was one day we sat and he said to get coffee, and I said I wanted sugar, and he answered like: ‘good’. I met him recently at a hotel, he was eating breakfast and I said I wanted barbecue, he said it was his breakfast, of course. But most of the time we met, there was always someone [with a camera] shooting, so he had to keep it up. But with no camera, the face changes completely.
White says he does not want McGregor to fight again Diaz again in a “trilogy” fight. Instead he wants McGregor to defend his title against interim champ Aldo. He says McGregor has two options — either fight Aldo or surrender his title to him — or cut weight to 155 and fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title.
The war was fun and super successful but I’m movin’ on.
Aldo says McGregor should defend his title at 145 pounds, or drop the belt.
How long was I going back and forth with José? That must have been a two-year build-up. He pulled out, last-minute. I continued to fight someone else, then we rescheduled a two-year, ‘round the world deal with that boy. And then he stepped in and I beat him in 13 seconds. It’s hard for me to get excited about that, especially after his last performance. It was a decision. He didn’t go out and get it like I wanted him to get it. So, I don’t know.
Aldo reveals what he told McGregor after he beat Frankie Edgar in UFC 200.
It was spontaneous. I knew he was there. When I was fighting, I saw him between rounds, I saw him there. So, when the fight was over, I only said ‘You’re next.’
Aldo’s trainer, Pederneiras, says his offer to pay for tests to be performed three times a week on Aldo and McGregor was rejected.
Conor went two months and two days without being tested before the fight with Aldo, and I was asking, asking, and asking but nothing was done. [Both fighters were tested four times, but only in the last two to three weeks, when McGregor was already in Los Angeles for the fight, while] Aldo was tested in the right way. I’m telling and challenging his trainer – test Conor seriously, I want to see if he makes weight. I can’t accuse anyone without having certainty. It would be frivolous to accuse someone without being certain. But, at the very least, it’s strange.
Aldo says that a win by McGregor in Las Vegas would prevent them from fighting each other at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden, but that expects Diaz to win.
If he loses (to Diaz), it’s highly likely that they put us to fight on November 12, at Madison Square Garden. The Irish community is big over there. But if he wins, I think they will do a third fight between them and ruin all my plans…If I had to bet, it would be Nate [who wins] again. From what I saw he’s way bigger, stronger, and he’s training. He got that fight on short notice and still was able to win. Well trained, it’s really hard for McGregor. If you look at (Diaz’s) fights, even when he’s getting beat, he finds a way to come back. If I had to bet, it would be Nate…I’m rooting for [McGregor] to lose, of course. If he wins, they will do another rematch with Nate, and that’s bad. He has to lose. He has to lose. He will lose.
Despite his admiration for Aldo’s performance, Kavanagh says he does not expect a different outcome when Aldo meets McGregor, most likely in November. He also expresses his regret at the fact that Edgar was unable to get the job done against Aldo.
Probably I had a little personal vision or dream of it being Edgar going in and doing amazing against Aldo…It would have been just amazing. As storylines go, that would have been really, really exciting. Really, really interesting. But I guess Aldo showed he had ‘The Answer’ again, and I think Aldo — I said this in the lead-up to Conor’s fight — is one of the best in the world at beating short wrestlers…There are certain things he’s doing that are really, really brilliant, but then on the other side I look at it and go, ‘It’s pretty much the same guy that [Conor] beat the last time’. It’s not the most unpredictable style — Muay Thai, defensive wrestling. It just looked a very similar guy…I think [Aldo] has improved a lot at beating that sort of guy again, but Conor’s not a short wrestler. I’m sure Aldo will have a more tempered approach the next time. I think the first time he did certain things that I don’t think he will do the second time. It will be very hard to beat 13 seconds the second time but he will definitely want to show his dominance and that it wasn’t a lucky punch.
Cruz says his fans want him to fight Aldo or McGregor.
Aldo looked better than I’ve ever seen him look, in any of his fights, this last time against Edgar. That is a challenge and that’s what I’m here for…The people that I want to fight are because fans are interested in it. I know they are. I know they’re interested in me maybe fighting Aldo. Me maybe fighting for the pound-for-pound No. 1 spot against a guy I already beat for five rounds in Demetrious Johnson. He’s hurt, who knows if that can happen or not. I’m just saying. That’s a money fight people would want to see. I know that if Conor McGregor comes out healthy and Aldo gets hurt before they’re supposed to meet up, the fans would want to see me fight Conor McGregor. I know fans would want to see that fight.
Also says he is set on beating McGregor in a rematch.
I have one goal and which is to be champion. It’s to beat that (expletive) and he can be sure that next time I catch him here he’s not going to be as lucky as he was the first time. I was born to be the champion, if I’m the interim champion or whatever I was always the champion. If I get the fight next with him I’m going to still be the champion.
After his win against Frankie Edgar, Aldo immediately exchanges words with McGregor, who is sitting at the ringside.
Aldo says he’ll do whatever it takes to get a rematch with McGregor. When asked if he would retire before a rematch with McGregor:
No way. Only if he stops fighting. As long as he’s in the UFC, this fight will happen. That’s a fact. We will get the belt back and be champion again…We’ll move up. The UFC will do this fight. It doesn’t matter at which weight. I don’t care…[Even if he walks away] We catch him in the street. No matter how, we will fight. [expletive] it.
Aldo says he will follow McGregor to the lightweight division.
Not only would I like it, we are going after it. We need to make it happen. The first fight wasn’t as expected. Hopefully, we will win that belt – that needs to be my goal now – but after I reclaim it, I think about that. Not only me, but I think the UFC will do it. There’s nowhere to run.