Aldo: Seeing McGregor win a UFC belt was a very difficult moment for me

“It was a really tough thing. It was really bad for a while. I couldn’t train, I couldn’t do anything.”

Jose Aldo
Jose Aldo
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

JOSE ALDO WILL aim to regain his status as the UFC’s undisputed featherweight champion when he takes on Conor McGregor in Las Vegas in 10 days’ time.

Aldo — the reigning featherweight champion — and McGregor were due to meet at UFC 189 back in July. However, after Aldo sustained a rib injury, McGregor went on to win an interim title instead when he defeated replacement opponent Chad Mendes.

Having been the only undisputed 145lbs champion in the history of the UFC since the introduction of the division in 2010, Aldo has admitted that he didn’t enjoy watching on TV as one of his featherweight rivals got his hands on a belt.

Nevertheless, the pair will finally settle their differences when they clash in the main event at UFC 194 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena a week from Saturday.

“It was a very difficult moment for me, especially since I’m always really active and always training, helping everybody out,” Aldo — who previously claimed that he didn’t watch McGregor’s fight against Mendes — told FOX Sports. “It was a really tough thing. It was really bad for a while. I couldn’t train, I couldn’t do anything.

“It was a sad moment but I’ve just got to stay positive and move forward. Now I’m happy that I’m training, everything is going well, camp was good and I’m just looking forward to the fight.”

UFC 189 Mixed Martial Arts Conor McGregor celebrates with the interim UFC featherweight belt after beating Chad Mendes. Source: John Locher

McGregor has regularly proclaimed himself to be the real champion in the featherweight division since his second-round TKO of Mendes. However, Aldo insists not only is that incorrect, but that McGregor shouldn’t have been given a title shot in the first place.

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“First off, everybody knows that I am the champion. He’s just interim, he just walks around with a belt but everybody knows that I’m the real champion,” Aldo said.

“I don’t worry about what he does but I’m going to go in there and when I win, then everything will go back to normal. I believe he got to where he is just by talking.

“I believe he’s behind Chad [Mendes] and Frankie [Edgar]. He got here by marketing himself. I’ve always believed he’ll be at the end of the line behind me, behind Frankie, and behind Chad.”

Aldo added: ”I believe I’m going to win this fight and I have no doubt about it, but I don’t think he’ll go away. He kind of put Ireland on the map and he did a lot for the country so I believe he’s going to go a different way.

“He might go the Chael Sonnen way and maybe talk himself into another title shot, but I don’t think he’s going to completely go away because he did a lot for where he came from so he’s always going to be there.”

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Paul Dollery

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