Many if not most in the combat sports world gave Conor McGregor incredibly high praise for his performance in a loss against boxing great Floyd Mayweather last weekend (Sat., August 26, 2017) from Las Vegas, Nevada.
The MMA megastar was able to land more punches on the elusive “Money” than former boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and a host of other world-class pros, and even though he ultimately succumbed to a tenth-round TKO at the hands of the undefeated champion, “The Notorious” proved he was a tough and game boxer until gassing late. Not everyone felt that way, however, as his former rivals Jose Aldo and Rafael dos Anjos took a moment to revel in his defeat on Twitter.
Yet Aldo insists he wasn’t the proprietor of that tweet as he cleared the air on the situation while speaking to the media at his restaurant “Famous Burger” in Rio de Janiero, Brazi (via MMA Fighting), saying that his social media team actually sent it while he was watching a football game:
“First of all, I didn’t even watch the fight. I went to a football game, which is the No. 1 sport for me. I love it, so I didn’t even watch the fight or know what happened.
“There’s some people that take care of my social media, so I can’t even say what happened because I didn’t stop to watch the fight. I talked about it (that night) because I was surrounded by boxers, and they talked about the fight, but I haven’t watched it so I can’t comment on it.
“It’s tough. You know what every athlete has a company that handles his social media. So that’s it.”
The words may be hard to believe for some fans, with many believe the decorated former champion to still be bitter from his jaw-dropping 13-second knockout defeat from “The Notorious” at UFC 194 in 2015. The timing is a bit suspect as well because Aldo’s coach just suggested “Scarface” could fight out his UFC deal and go to boxing himself.
With his mind on the sweet science, Aldo offered a view that McGregor really didn’t accomplish much in facing Mayweather, because he landed punches on an old fighter who didn’t train seriously to fight him:
“Of course not. It’s not a moral (victory). First of all, you’re trying to prove (what) against a 41-year-old fighter who hasn’t fought in years… Of course, it’s a fight for a lot of money, but a moral victory would be against an active boxer, a champion. Then he wouldn’t even last a round. It’s a completely different sport.
“Mayweather just waited for the time to attack. He hasn’t fought in two years. Many people talk shit, not the media, but many people keep saying ‘oh, he landed more punches than Pacquiao, Cotto and everyone else,’ but they don’t take into consideration that (Mayweather) hasn’t fought in two years. He didn’t even train properly for the fight. He knew it would work. Brother, one chance in a million for Conor to defeat Mayweather.”
Regardless of all these dynamics, however, Aldo has some ground to make up in his own division, as he just lost the belt to Max Holloway in devastating fashion at UFC 212 this June.
There are some potentially interesting match-ups available to him in the UFC, but with him not appearing to be in a hurry to fight his way back to a title shot, he risks becoming remembered as a generational talent who may have fallen quite short of living up to his overall potential due to inactivity and injuries.
Perhaps, he doesn’t care, and he has accomplished something most would never dream of in rising up from a kid fighting to live on the streets to the position of a respected UFC champion. No one can take that away from him, but defining his own career on his own bitterness at McGregor won’t gain him any fans.
Where should Aldo go from here?