Jose Aldo: Conor McGregor knows what's coming
After stopping Dennis Siver in January, Conor McGregor scaled an Octagon wall, ran out near the Boston Garden crowd and screamed at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo. The moment made for great theater and the shot is rightly being used to promote the 145-pound title showdown between "Notorious" and "Scarface" on July 11 at UFC 189 in Las Vegas.
The moment was more comical than dramatic to Aldo, however. For all the brash McGregor's volume, Aldo told media this week that he simply saw the Irishman doing the classic "hold me back" charade with arena security.
"It was funny," Aldo said. "He was screaming but didn't do anything. He was holding the security. It was funny."
Perhaps that's why Aldo simply laughed at McGregor then. Though he's held a more stern visage throughout the early parts of his and McGregor's promotional world tour for UFC 189, the champion insists that the challenger has not actually gotten under his skin.
"I was never upset [with McGregor]. I just laughed at it. It's tough to get me pissed off," Aldo explained.
"My mind is my strongest weapon. It's hard to get into my mind. I don't worry about it. Face-offs mean nothing. I'm in his head and he knows what's coming."
Not even McGregor's taunts about the Brazilian Aldo's humble roots of living in a favela irked the UFC's longest-reigning world champion. "I lived in a favela," he reasoned.
"I wasn't upset when he said that. He talks a lot. If I care about everything he says, I will be [expletive]. I just relax, try to stay cool. It's normal. I'm here to promote the fight. When I'm inside the cage, nobody will take anything from me. I focus on the fight, not on what people say. Pressure is nothing. It's part of the job. I fight in there. That is where I have to prove everything. In there, I will be concentrated to do my job."
Aldo always has responded well to opponents talking trash about him leading up to fights. The champ recounted the first time he encountered a smack-talking opponent.
"Cub Swanson was the first to talk a lot on fight week, in the WEC," Aldo said.
Aldo went on to knock out Swanson in just eight seconds with an amazing flying double-knee strike. "I got there and ran though him," he went on.
"It's going to be the same thing with this one."
Though Aldo doesn't sweat the many face-offs he's had and will continue to have with McGregor in the lead-up to UFC 189, he did welcome the chance to look into his challenger's eyes. "[McGregor] asked me to look into his eyes, and I did," he concluded.
"I saw how he is. I've studied him. I know all his movements. I already know what to do in there."