It may come as a surprise to many, but one of Conor McGregor‘s arch-rivals, José Aldo, gave words of encouragement to the Irishman after the latter broke his ankle in his last fight.
Back in July at UFC 264, McGregor suffered a gruesome ankle break in his loss to Dustin Poirier in the final seconds of the first round, which caused the end of the fight. Afterward, McGregor underwent emergency surgery whilst promising fans that he will be back.
After the fight, some believed this to be the end of McGregor’s career, particularly his time at the top of the sport. However, the most unlikely message of encouragement has come in the shape of his old rival, José Aldo, who believes the Irishman will return to success once again…as long as he has his mindset in the right place.
“First of all, I’m upset with the injury,” Aldo told Ag. Fight. “It’s quite hard, we work with our body, we try to keep it healthy because that way we can always be working.
One of the reasons why people believed McGregor’s elite days were over was due to the fact that Poirier was getting the better of the exchanges and was, quite frankly, beating the Irishman up before the doctor’s stoppage. However, Aldo does not believe that to be the case. Furthermore, he thinks that McGregor can again reach the peak of the sport if he has the right mentality going forward.
“I think he can [get back to fighting at a high level],” said Aldo. “I never doubt the champions, the mind and willpower of the champions. He has dominating before and was the lightweight and featherweight champion. It’s all up to him. If he wants to come back at a high level, he can do it.”
McGregor fought Aldo back in 2015 at UFC 194, where the Irishman became the undisputed featherweight champion. The lead-up to the fight was filled with bad blood, as McGregor did his best to rattle then-champion Aldo at every opportunity he could get. McGregor finished the fight in just 13 seconds, knocking out Aldo with a swift left hook.
It is uncertain whether McGregor will return to the Octagon; however, it is likely that he will return next year. As for Aldo, the Brazilian returns this weekend against Pedro Munhoz in the co-main event of UFC 265 in Houston, an important matchup in the top 10 of the bantamweight division.
Do you think Conor McGregor will ever replicate the success he had from 2013-2016?