Jose Aldo is not recognizing Conor McGregor’s reign as Featherweight Champ, says he never defended and therefore was never champ.
Jose Aldo has been very vocal about wanting a rematch with Conor McGregor following his loss at UFC 194. He lost the belt to Conor McGregor during that fight when McGregor knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds. Now Aldo is claiming that Conor was never really the champion at all since he failed to defend that belt before he relinquished it last month. With McGregor winning the Lightweight belt and letting go of the 145lb strap, this landed Aldo back in that 145 lb championship spot. Jose Aldo spoke to Ariel Helwani yesterday to clear the air on a few lingering subject, one of these being Conor McGregor.
Jose Aldo was very upset with the UFC following the loss to McGregor, he felt that he deserved an immediate rematch. He felt that the UFC would have given him the rematch, but it was, in fact, McGregor who refused. Aldo said:
“I should have gotten an immediate rematch. It was completely warranted and what should have happened. It didn’t happen, though. When they gave me Frankie Edgar, I knew that belt wasn’t going to remain the interim belt. I knew Conor wasn’t coming back; everyone knew he wasn’t coming back. That’s the real belt. I’m the one that has defended this belt. I’ve been the king of this division for a long time. I’ve never not seen myself as a champion. I lost a fight. That’s it. I knew that I was going to be the champion of this division and that’s how I still see myself. I’ve always been the champion. The champion is the person that defends the belt, not the person that gets the belt and flees the division”
Aldo went on to trash McGregor, saying that he is “two-faced” and that he picks and chooses his opponents. Aldo was critical of the fact that Conor fought in other divisions while holding up the featherweight division, with no intentions of returning to it. Aldo went on to say:
“He says a lot of stuff to the press, but behind-the-scenes, he turns down fights left and right. He picks opponents, he picks events. He’s not willing to face challengers the way a champion should be ready to face challengers. That’s not a true champion. He spent a year without defending the belt, so his math doesn’t add up when he says, I was the champion for less than 12 months. He wasn’t the champion at all. He never defended the belt. He wanted to stall an entire division. That’s not being a champion. I’ve never seen Conor as the featherweight champion. He’s not the champion now. I’ve never stopped being the featherweight champion.”
Aldo is looking ahead to a fight with Max Holloway when he returns from an ankle injury, in April or May according to Holloway. Aldo also alluded to a possible Lightweight match-up with a #1 or #2 contender, to set up a potential rematch with McGregor.