Jose Aldo feels Khabib Nurmagomedov 's recent criticism of his UFC 265 victory against Pedro Munhoz was "disrespectful".
Aldo outpointed Munhoz at the event last month, with fans praising his performance and comparing it to some of his old victories.
It was a big win for Aldo, who had lost fights to Marlon Moraes and Petr Yan before claiming his first win at 135-pounds against Marlon Vera last December.
Propelling the Brazilian up to fifth in the bantamweight rankings, Aldo is hopeful he can go on to have a second shot at the bantamweight title after losing out on the belt to Yan.
But Nurmagomedov disapproved of claims that Aldo is showing signs of his old self.
He told RT Sport : “How is he showing [that he's peaking again]? He got beat up when he fought… Who’d he fight? He fought Petr [Yan] right?
“A guy wins one fight and everyone starts talking. When Conor [McGregor] fought Cowboy [Cerrone], he looked like a lion. When he fights stronger opponents, he looks like a scared chicken.
“Fighting top fighters shows your worth. Like I said, the level of Russia’s football team will be shown against Croatia, not Malta. A fight against Cowboy won’t show what level you’re at. Just like Aldo’s fight against Pedro Munhoz.”
The undefeated Nurmagomedov retired from fighting last October after defeating Justin Gaethje. He has since turned to coaching fighters and has also rebranded his own MMA promotion.
Nurmagomedov's comments about Aldo drew the attention of the combat sports world, with some agreeing and others disagreeing with the now retired UFC star.
And Aldo has fired back at Nurmagomedov stating his early retirement will later coming back to haunt him.
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He said: "What Khabib said struck me as disrespectful. I don't know why he despised my victory over Pedro Munhoz. Khabib says I'm done and I don't have a chance of becoming a champion.
"He remembered my loss to Petr Yan, defeats are also part of this sport. Khabib would have lost sooner or later if he hadn't run away as soon as he became champion, Khabib and I never had any problems.
"I even offered to replace Ferguson, but he declined. You are starting to realise that retirement was a mistake and now you are trying to subtract other veterans.
"In 10-20 years, I won't regret anything, because I'm fighting here and now and Khabib will ask himself: "And if I kept fighting could I be the best fighter of all time?" This will eat him up on the inside."
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