Jose Aldo admits he’s taken Conor McGregor’s comments on his move down to bantamweight to heart. After a difficult run at featherweight over the last four years, the former 145lbs champion has opted to test the waters in the bantamweight division, which he’ll be welcomed to by Marlon Moraes this weekend at UFC 245 in Las Vegas.
Aldo’s move down to the 135lb division perplexed many as fighters struggling in their traditional weight class seldom move down a division when trying to reinvigorate their careers.
Questions began to be asked of Aldo’s decision to drop down in weight when photographs of him looking extremely gaunt started circulating on social media.
The photos sparked fierce debate, with many expressing their concerns over the Brazilian’s wellbeing ahead of his showdown with his fellow countryman.
McGregor, surprisingly, was one of those was adamant the future UFC hall-of-famer has prepared himself correctly for his cut down to 135lbs and wished his opponent well upon seeing recent pictures of him.
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It means a lot to me that it comes from him
Jose Aldo’s reaction to Conor McGregor’s comments on his weight cut
McGregor’s praise was well received by ‘The King of Rio’, whose reign as featherweight champion was ended by ‘The Notorious’ four years ago at UFC 194.
“Of course I took it to heart,” Aldo told TSN during the UFC 245 media day. “All of the great champions know what type of sacrifice it takes for us to achieve things.
“The other people, the other fighters, they can only dream of this.
“So it means a lot to me that it comes from him (Conor McGregor). He is a champion in two weight classes.
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“He knows the sacrifices that I’ve had to make and I really take the comment/compliment to heart.”
Upon seeing Aldo’s frail-looking physique for the first time, McGregor said: “I disagree here. He looks more than on top of it in my experienced opinion.
“Well trimmed in advance, and naturally a lighter man now. This can only be done over a long length of time and with complete dedication.
“Respect! I wish him well and am excited to see him in this division.”
Since losing the featherweight title to McGregor in 13 seconds, Aldo has gone 3-3 in the UFC – losing twice to reigning 145lb champion Max Holloway and once to Alexander Volkanoski.
But at the age of 33, Aldo is adamant he still has plenty of miles left in the tank, so much so he believes an impressive win over Moraes this weekend should earn him the next crack at bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo.
“I don’t believe I am cutting the line on anybody,” Aldo told MMA Fighting. “All the contenders are there, but Marlon is ranked No. 1.
“I asked for the fight so when I beat the No. 1, and also being a former champion, I should be the one next to fight for the title.”
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