Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo had one of the greatest rivalries in UFC history.
But these days they’re actually pretty tight.
The Brazilian MMA star was announced as the worthy upcoming inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 283.
The legendary former featherweight champion spoke to the media where he reflected on his career and his feud with the Irishman.
And in what may come as a surprise to many UFC fans, Aldo has a lot of appreciation for the Notorious One.
The former featherweight champion was asked if he regretted not getting his rematch with McGregor following the famous 13-second knockout at UFC 194.
Aldo replied, via a Portuguese translator: “Maybe back in the day it would have been an awesome event, but not today.
“People, everywhere I go now — I do have a lot of respect for him. We’re friends.
“We even follow each other on Instagram, we exchange dialogue there, and sometimes fans come up to me and say, ‘Do you feel like beating McGregor or something?’
“I say, ‘How can I do that? That’s the guy who gave me the most money.
“I have nothing but respect and kind of a friendship now, [I wouldn’t think of a rematch] these days.”
It was a mammoth loss to come back from, but that’s exactly what Aldo did at UFC 200 when he defeated Frankie Edgar for an interim featherweight championship, which was later elevated to undisputed.
He laughed when he was asked about a rumour that swirled around the MMA world at the time that McGregor left him a pair of red panties on his door to congratulate him.
The 36-year-old confirmed it did indeed happen, and that it was a sign of respect from his rival who coined ‘red panty night’ as a metaphor for a big money fight.
Jose Aldo says Conor McGregor left some red panties on his hotel room door at UFC 200. pic.twitter.com/7uB0tBcrSj— The Mac Life (@TheMacLife) January 22, 2023
Aldo said: “It was just good-hearted, lighthearted fun.
“We were in Red Rock owned by Lorenzo [Fertitta] in Vegas and we were window to window and there was a night I beat Frankie Edgar, so he just sent it out as a lighthearted joke.
“I didn’t do anything with it. But maybe. I could even get my missus to wear it or something.”
Aldo announced his MMA retirement in August and is getting set to compete in the world of boxing on February 10.
Just like McGregor, he’s throwing his hat into another ring, with the Irishman probably able to give him a bit of advice about the transition, considering their friendship.
As for what he and his former rival message about on Instagram, he said: “It’s usually good stuff.
“He’s just coming out of a big injury, so we just exchange stuff like that. He has a massive impact on the sport. It’s just usually good stuff that we talk about.”
Featured Image Credit: Sipa US / Alamy. Ger Holland / Alamy.
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