Former featherweight champion Conor McGregor has come to the defense of fellow former featherweight champion and opponent, Jose Aldo, following several days of criticism regarding his weight cut to bantamweight.
Earlier this week, pictures of Aldo after what appears to be some training sessions were posted on social media. The pictures quickly made their rounds in the mixed martial arts community with fans and pundits alike pointing out how poorly Aldo looked on his way down to 135 pounds. Since the beginning of his career, Aldo has always competed at featherweight, which is contested at 145 pounds but decided to switch to a different weight class earlier this year.
Although the apparent depletion of Aldo has been the most common reaction from anyone who has seen the pictures, there are a few who have defended the former champion. One of those defenders is none other than Conor McGregor.
In a response to ESPN personality Ariel Helwani’s concerns of Aldo at bantamweight, McGregor totally disagreed with the reaction and laid out all the reasons why he thinks Aldo is just fine.
I disagree here. He looks more than on top of it in my experienced opinion. Well trimmed in advance, and naturally a lighter man now. This can only be done over a long length of time and with complete dedication. Respect! I wish him well and am excited to see him in this division
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 6, 2019
“I disagree here. He looks more than on top of it in my experienced opinion. Well trimmed in advance, and naturally a lighter man now. This can only be done over a long length of time and with complete dedication. Respect! I wish him well and am excited to see him in this division,” wrote McGregor.
McGregor coming to the defense of Aldo may come as quite a shock to those who understand the kind of bad blood these two have shared in the past, which culminated in the now-infamous 13-second knockout at UFC 194. While both men have entertained a rematch with one another, it seems more unlikely now with McGregor and Aldo competing in weight classes at farther ends of the weight spectrum.
As has been discussed throughout this article, Aldo is dropping down to bantamweight and will be meeting former World Series of Fighting champion turned UFC contender, Marlon Moraes at UFC 245. McGregor is making his long-awaited return to the Octagon, but at welterweight, where he will be meeting Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 246.