NITEROI, Brazil -- Conor McGregor’s fighting style, combined with his personality, has made him a guy to pay attention to in UFC’s featherweight division. Jose Aldo, the 145-pound kingpin, had good things to say about the Irish contender.
"The Irish guy?," Aldo replied to MMAFighting.com when asked about Conor McGregor. "I’m always watching every featherweight that fights in the UFC because we can eventually fight in the future. He’s a great fighter."
McGregor has won 14 of his 16 MMA fights, and Aldo believes he has the potential to get among the tops one day.
"He’s starting now, but he is already saying some polemical things," said Aldo, who currently rides a 16-fight win streak. "It’s part of the business. The (talking) put him on the map, so now he will have to show everything he has talked about. It’s part of the business."
Aldo is the only top UFC featherweight "safe" from McGregor criticism, and he believes the prospect will have to back up all the talk inside the Octagon.
"He hasn’t spoken my name, he only talked about the guys below me in the division," he said. "It’s his personality. If he talks, he knows what he’s doing. Let’s see in the future when he fights more if he can back it up."
Ricardo Lamas, Cub Swanson and Chad Mendes are in the mix to earn a shot at Aldo’s title, and the featherweight champion believes "Notorius" can use the trash talk to move up faster in the rankings.
"That’s the trend, you talk and call out and get more attention," he said. "Chael Sonnen inspired everybody. You go there and call someone out and you get the fight. But I’m here to fight whoever they put in front of me."