During an excruciatingly long promo tour for their UFC featherweight title fight, Conor McGregor appeared to get under Jose Aldo’s skin at every turn, including infamously stealing his belt during their stop in Dublin.
Despite that, Aldo believes that McGregor actually isn’t that bad of a guy, and it wouldn’t hurt to have a couple more fighters like him in the featherweight division.
“It's a friendly relationship. I don't have a problem with him trying to promote himself,” Aldo told Brazilian media outlet Porto do Vale Tudo, per Independent.ie. “If we take a look at it money-wise, it was pretty good. I think there should be more fighters like him at featherweight, it would be very lucrative. I'm not his friend, though. He can go his way and I can go mine.”
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Aldo earned the $400,000 for his efforts against McGregor at UFC 194, the highest purse of his long career. Regardless of how much money he made afterwards, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who described their relationship as anything but rocky, based on their appearances on TV alone.
Aldo says that was largely because McGregor would put on act when the cameras came on.
“He’s a normal guy, easy-going,” Aldo said. “But he sees a camera or some Irish fans nearby and he transforms. He sees a little camera or some Irish people, and the guy changes in such a way that you think, ‘Son of a b—h.’
“One day we were hanging out and he said he was going to get the coffee and I said I wanted mine with sugar and he said something like 'nice.’ Most of the times we met, there was always someone recording us, though, so he had to keep his persona up. With no cameras, he changes completely.”
McGregor defeated Aldo with a single punch at UFC 194 to win the UFC title and went on to fight lightweight contender Nate Diaz twice. UFC president Dana White says that McGregor has to choose between returning to featherweight and unifying the title or forfeit his belt and challenge lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
Aldo, who currently holds the interim featherweight title, would love for McGregor to return to featherweight so he can avenge his first loss over a decade and reap some of the financial benefits but he’s probably hoping there are less cameras around this time though.