José Aldo and Conor McGregor are always going to be connected to one another, but it may be time to move on from the idea of a rematch between the two former champions.
Aldo and McGregor shared the Octagon at UFC 194 in 2015 for what was widely considered one of the most important featherweight fights in the history of the promotion. That fight would come to an end in just 13-seconds after McGregor knocked Aldo out with a left hand that dropped him to the canvas and two follow-up hammerfists on the ground. It was a stunning result considering that no one had ever done anything like that to Aldo, who reigned as a dominant champion for many years.
An immediate rematch was requested by Aldo and his team, but it never materialized and both men moved on with their professional careers. McGregor never defended the featherweight title and instead moved up in weight for an opportunity to fight for the lightweight title. Aldo remained in the featherweight division and alternated between wins and losses before he decided to drop down to the bantamweight division in recent years.
Aldo was not successful in his foray into a new weight class right away, but he has since hit his stride and is currently on a two-fight win streak with unanimous decisions over the likes of Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera and Pedro Munhoz. He is focused on earning another championship opportunity, so he has called for fights against fellow contenders like T.J. Dillashaw that not only make perfect sense, but also gets him closer to gold again. However, there has been a push for Aldo to finally fight McGregor again, but the Brazilian believes it is way too late for that.
“That’s what I don’t understand, brother,” Aldo told Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting in a recent interview. “Back when it should have happened, like they are going [other] rematches and trilogies, I didn’t have the opportunity, no one considered anything, and each one went their way. Now that the situation has inverted again, it feels like they have the obligation to book it.
“No, I don’t see myself fighting Conor,” continued Aldo. “Never, I think. I can even say that. It might happen tomorrow, but that’s not the path. I root for him today, I hope he recovers from the injury and fights again at the highest level and becomes champion again, because that way he and I will always be together. No matter if I’m down and he’s up or the other way around, people will always put out names together, and that way we carry each other up.”
Aldo wishes nothing but the best for McGregor but is entirely committed to remaining at bantamweight. One of the suggested stipulations for a rematch between Aldo and McGregor was that it take place at lightweight. The Nova Uniao staple has previously considered moving up, but that is no longer an option after spending so much time and effort getting his body accustomed to 135 pounds.