Conor McGregor on Jose Aldo: ‘I’ll whoop his ass in July’

As UFC 189 in July approaches, top-ranked featherweight contender Conor McGregor has no shortage of confidence as he prepares to take on Jose Aldo in the main event.

McGregor has been telling anyone who will listen for the past year that once he got a chance to step into the Octagon with Aldo, he would dismantle the only featherweight champion the UFC has ever known. Now as he stands on the precipice of finally getting the opportunity, McGregor hasn’t suddenly been humbled in the face of greatness.

Instead, he’s staking his claim to the featherweight throne and making Aldo take a back seat to his show.

"My name, the McGregor name, my family’s motto is ‘S rioghal mo dhream’ and that means royal is in my blood (my race is royal). That goes way back. So for (Aldo) to say that he is the king and I am the joker, if this was a different time, I would invade his favella on horseback and kill anyone that was not fit to work," McGregor said recently.

"But we are in a new time, so I’ll whoop his ass in July."

It’s easy to write McGregor off as a braggart with a loud mouth, but he’s backed up his words with plenty of stunning performances in the cage as well.

He’s finished four out of his five opponents in the UFC by knockout or TKO and in those four fights, McGregor has seen the second round on only one occasion.

McGregor may answer questions with his own special brand of flare, but he doesn’t mind explaining the technicalities of how he’ll beat Aldo in July. It’s not as easy as just saying he’ll knock him out, so McGregor details his exact path to victory.

"You can say a long story or a short story — the long story, I’m a southpaw, I judge range very, very well. His kicks will be inefficient. I have won contests before where I’ve checked that inside lead kick and broke my opponent’s leg. I have won fights like this before," McGregor explained.

"But the short story — I’m going to bang a left hand straight down the pipe and break his nose."

Where McGregor believes he truly separates from Aldo in terms of performance is the killer instinct the two fighters have shown in recent bouts. While the Irishman has been terminating opponents in record time, Aldo hasn’t been able to do the same in many of his title bouts.

The most effective argument would be the fact that Aldo has faced only the top featherweights in the world since winning the title in 2009, and finishing the best of the best is easier said than done. McGregor, of course, sees it in a different way.

"As far as I’m concerned, he’s a coaster; he coasts. He has not finished nobody," McGregor said. "He has one finish in UFC history, one legit finish, that’s it. I have four. Facts are facts. When I hit, they fall. When he hits, they survive. That’s it. 

"He has 25 minutes to hide that battle-worn chin from me. It won’t happen. In 25 minutes I will hit him and he will fall."

When it finally came time for McGregor and Aldo to go eye to eye for the first of many future staredowns, the Irish contender quickly started jabbering at the champion. Aldo stood stoic while McGregor kept a rather maniacal smile as he taunted the Brazilian in front of his hometown fans.

"Look into my eyes, little man," McGregor said to Aldo. "You’re a Brazilian — u vai morrer (translation: you will die). What you got to say now? Face to face, man to man? What you got to say? You’ve got nothing to say. Face to face he’s got nothing to say!"

Aldo will have plenty of opportunity to answer McGregor’s words in the next few months, but the ultimate test will go down on July 11 when the two featherweights finally square off in the Octagon as the main event of UFC 189. 

Aldo and McGregor even will receive top billing on the card despite another title fight in a higher weight class between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald taking place.

Why do Aldo and McGregor get special treatment above every other title fight in the UFC?

"This is the biggest featherweight matchup, ever," UFC president Dana White said about the fight. "In history."