Saturday 18 November 2017

'He's a coward. He was never champion' - Jose Aldo seems to have forgotten he was knocked out in 13 seconds by Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor, left, knocks out Jose Aldo
Conor McGregor, left, knocks out Jose Aldo

Harry Clarke

Jose Aldo has branded Conor McGregor a coward who was never the real featherweight champion, despite getting knocked out after just 13 seconds by the Irishman in December last year.

McGregor was forced to relinquish the featherweight belt he won off Aldo last weekend. The move was triggered by a sequence of events that followed light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier's withdrawal from his scheduled title defence against Anthony Johnson at UFC 206 on Dec. 10 due to injury.

McGregor, who knocked out Eddie Alvarez this month to claim the lightweight crown and become the first fighter in the promotion's history to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, had previously said he did not want to give up either title.

In order to keep a title bout on the UFC 206 card, officials asked McGregor to relinquish his featherweight title so Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis could fight for the interim UFC featherweight championship.

The winner will then face Aldo, who was unbeaten for 10 years and made seven defences of his UFC featherweight title before his loss to McGregor, in 2015 for the unified belt.

Speaking to the UFC, Aldo said: “I knew this would happen. To me, I have always been the champion. I lost that fight because of a (fluke).

“I know I could win in a rematch. I knew I would be champion again. It’s not my fault that (McGregor) is a coward, that he was never champion. I don’t see myself losing to anyone in this weight class, or any other.”

The Brazilian also confirmed that a rematch against McGregor at lightweight is very much on his radar.

“First, I want to defend my title, and then go after a fight with him (at lightweight),” Aldo said. “Just like Dana (White) said, we can choose who we want to fight, so I want to fight him. That’s what will happen.”

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