Monday 26 September 2016

Jose Aldo rubbishes Conor McGregor's powers of prediction and claims stellar record entitles him to rematch

Tom Rooney

Published 15/12/2015 | 12:24

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 12: Jose Aldo walks across the Octagon after losing to Conor McGregor in their featherweight title fight during UFC 194 on December 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor took the title with a first-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 12: Jose Aldo walks across the Octagon after losing to Conor McGregor in their featherweight title fight during UFC 194 on December 12, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor took the title with a first-round TKO. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

Jose Aldo is unmoved by the legend of ‘Mystic Mac’ and says his stellar career entitles him to a rematch with Conor McGregor

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In the aftermath of UFC 194 in Las Vegas, speculation has been rife as to what Conor McGregor will do next.

The man himself has expressed a desire to move to lightweight in the near future and challenge for a championship, though without vacating the title he took from the Brazilian in such stunning fashion.

For the time being such ambitions may have to be shelved because, pending an X-ray, the 27-year old could be out of action until next June due to an injury to his left wrist.

In the UFC’s 22-year history no fighter has ever simultaneously lorded over two divisions and the top brass are yet to confirm whether or not they’d allow McGregor attempt to be the first to do so. How this particular issue unfolds should make for compelling viewing.

After Frankie Edgar’s knockout of Chad Mendes on Friday night, Dana White promised him the next shot at the featherweight title, the prospect of which is certainly appealing to the Dubliner but his growing ambitions and injury problems may now delay the showdown.

Amazingly, given that he reigned over the 145lbs bracket for five years as its first and only champion, granting Aldo an immediate opportunity to regain his crown has been the least mooted scenario.

“Soon thereafter, we spoke (with UFC President Dana White),” Aldo said to Combate. “But I think now is still too early to talk. Emotions are high. Of course, I want a rematch. I think I have that right. Not because I say so, but my career speaks for itself.”

Perhaps it’s all down to the decisive manner of McGregor’s victory, or that the Manaus native has an eminently tempestuous relationship with his employers.

Yet, when former middleweight champion Anderson Silva was dethroned by Chris Weidman in a not too dissimilar fashion, he was permitted the chance of rectifying his first UFC loss.

In enduring his first defeat since 2005, Aldo is understandably dejected but, to his credit, makes no excuses for the devastating loss.

“I watched it,” he said. “And also I remember the way I was going to advance and strike. But, man, it’s very hard to say if it’s right or if it’s wrong. Decisions are always made very quickly, and when I tried to come in with a combination, he managed to connect with a good strike.”

He went on to dismiss the idea that his Irish foe possesses any form of supernatural prescience given the manner he has predicted the downfall of opponents, including, of course, Aldo.

“Does anyone study the game more than (coach Andre Pederneiras) or our team? I think no one studies it more than us,” Aldo retorted. “No one can say that. So it’s not something he predicted. It’s easy to say, now that I lost, that he did this or that. Now it’s easy. If I had won, everybody would say they predicted it. That doesn’t exist.”

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