Despite sharing a notable rivalry ahead of their eventual featherweight title unification clash back in December of 2015 — both Jose Aldo and now Conor McGregor have offered support toward each other off the back of their most recent Octagon outings, respectively.
Co-headlining UFC 265 on Saturday night, bantamweight striker, Aldo turned in the second victory of his run in the division — besting Brazilian counterpart, Pedro Munhoz over the course of three rounds in a vintage, technical striking performance.
Landing a total of 114 significant strikes over the course of the three round affair, Aldo took home a unanimous decision (30-27 x3) victory over the American Top Team mainstay, Munhoz.
Expected to meet with one of his top-five compatriots off the back of the victory, Aldo added Munhoz to a run that included an equally impressive unanimous judging win over Marlon Vera last December in another co-headlining tilt. Reacting to Aldo’s spectacular performance over the weekend, former-foe and two-weight champion, McGregor had some encouraging words for the veteran Manaus favourite; “Jose Aldo is a real legend“.
Meeting with Aldo back in the main event of UFC 194 in December 2015 — Crumlin native, McGregor, then the interim featherweight championship successfully unified the crowns with a record-setting 13-second one-punch knockout over the Brazilian.
In his most recent outing, McGregor suffered his second straight loss to former interim lightweight gold holder, Dustin Poirier. Headlining UFC 264 last month, the Dubliner suffered a first round doctor’s stoppage TKO loss after he fractured his left tibia with just 10-seconds remaining in the first frame.
Last week, Aldo offered his support toward past opponent, McGregor — explaining how he was upset to see the Dubliner suffer his injury, and how he believes if he puts in the work, he can make a successful return to the sport post-injury.
“First of all, I’m upset with the injury,” Aldo said. “It’s quite hard, we work with our body, we try to keep it healthy because that way we can always be working.“
“I think he (Conor McGregor) can (return at a high-level),” Aldo explained. “I never doubt champions, the mind, and willpower of the champions. He was dominating before and was the lightweight and featherweight champion. It’s all up to him. If he wants to come back at a high level, he can do it.“