Former undisputed UFC featherweight champion, Jose Aldo has admitted that he was “upset” after former two-weight gold holder and one-time opponent, Conor McGregor suffered a leg fracture at UFC 264 against Dustin Poirier last month.
Aldo, who is set to meet with compatriot, Pedro Munhoz in the co-headlining bout of UFC 265 this weekend at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas — met with McGregor at UFC 194 back in December of 2015 where he suffered a knockout loss just 13-seconds into the opening round of his featherweight title unification clash.
In the time since, Aldo has moved to the promotion’s bantamweight ranks, where he currently holds a 1-2 record, dropping losses to former title challenger, Marlon Moraes and former champion, Petr Yan, before a recent December unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera.
Sharing his thoughts on McGregor’s gruesome leg fracture suffered against Poirier in their July rubber match trilogy bout, Aldo explained how he was saddened to see the Dubliner suffer the injury setback.
“First of all, I’m upset with the injury,” Aldo said during a recent interview with Brazilian outlet, AgFight. “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.“
Aldo explained that he was impressed by McGregor’s performance up and until suffering his leg fracture with 10-seconds remaining in the opening round of his bout with Poirier, and believes the 33-year-old will work hard to make a successful comeback.
“The fight (Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor III) was going well especially because Conor forgot (the promotional) side and tried to be the fighter and win until that leg situation happened,” Aldo said. “But, man, I think it’s up to him (to make a return). If he wants to come back again, he will work hard, abdicate from certain things to get there, dedicate himself and go back to the winning path.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
UFC president, Dana White has earmarked a possible year timeframe for a return for McGregor, who is currently in Beverly Hills, California following a recent surgical procedure.
The Dubliner recently attempted to pursue a wheelchair charity boxing match with Irish impressionist, Al Foran in Galway on September 11., however, explained how the surgical team intends on monitoring his recovery until October at the very earliest, and maybe up until December as well.