As UFC 189 passed and Conor McGregor defeated Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight strap, it seemed all the heat was being directed at the absent Brazilian boss Jose Aldo. A rib injury forced ‘Scarface’ out of the landmark event against ‘The Notorious’, and there was also a mix up with a random drug tester in Brazil that caused a stir, although it was later revealed that the champ was ‘co-operative’ and passed the random screen.
Then came the interview about the IV ban, and more specifically whether the 145-pound kingpin planned on playing by the rules of the new USADA (United States Anti Doping Agency) mandated rule. After stating he ‘didn’t care what they do in America,’ Aldo went on to say he wouldn’t follow the ban on IV rehydration, UFC VP of athlete health Jeff Novitsky then revealed that the testing would be expanded to include screens for IV use.
Now, ahead of his UFC 194 title defense with his old rival McGregor, the long-time UFC and former WEC featherweight champ has changed his tune, and his trainer Andre Pederneiras argued that Aldo was kidding when making the controversial remarks, and the media had portrayed him in a negative light.
Check out the quotes from the article by Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report:
“Everybody knows they have rules, and you see the rules and do exactly what you’re supposed to do,” Pederneiras says. “Giovani Decker (the UFC’s general manager of Brazilian operations) was in the meeting and saw everything. He knows he was just joking.”
“I think it’s much harder for Conor to make the weight and not have an IV than it is for Aldo. Aldo cuts 15 pounds. How much does Conor cut? For sure, it’s terrible for him and not terrible for Aldo,”
“I know (Aldo) won’t do the IV for sure, because he doesn’t need that. But I don’t know Conor,” Pederneiras said. “How can he make the weight back without the IV? He probably cuts like 30 pounds, and Aldo just 15. Who needs the IV more, Aldo or Conor?”
Novitsky also indicated in his recent interview that oral rehydration is both more effective and healthy for the athlete cutting weight. On to the next matter, and Aldo reveals he never watched UFC 189 because he was laid up and in too much pain from the injury that his rival had made a mockery of in the press:
“I don’t care about what he said. For me, he’s just a joker,” Aldo said. “I was like a baby in my bed because I couldn’t move. I needed help from my wife and my friends to move my body. I don’t care about what he’s doing,” Aldo said with a laugh. “But I know if Chad had been able to train for the fight, it would be totally different.
Aldo also goes on to say that friends were calling him after the UFC 189 show, telling him that McGregor would be a walk in the park.
“They told me, ‘You’re going to kill this guy for sure,'”
Aldo’s image in the media continues to sway back-and-forth, but what remains is the belt around his waist. In an oddly familiar picture to many in the same spot previously (See Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture) the promotion is not keeping their feelings hidden as to which fighter they want in the top spot.
That’s all going to come to a head in December, as Jose Aldo finally faces Conor McGregor, what will be the outcome? Will the UFC’s new golden boy topple the quiet and somewhat unmarketable Brazilian boss, or will ‘Scarface’ rain on the UFC parade?