Conor McGregor has repeatedly mocked Jose Aldo for pulling out of their scheduled UFC 189 featherweight title fight with a rib injury. He's just as dismissive of Chad Mendes' claim that he would have won their subsequent interim title bout had Mendes gotten more than two weeks' notice.
And while the criticism may seem harsh, in McGregor's mind, the pointed words are there for a solid reason: He also didn't go into the July 11th show in Las Vegas at 100 percent.
On the 300th edition of The MMA Hour, McGregor said that a leg injury kept him from throwing kicks in camp until two weeks before the card.
"I re-injured my leg," McGregor said. "I couldn't walk, I could not walk. The was a period in camp where I couldn't even stand up straight. Two weeks before the fight was when I started throwing kicks again."
According to McGregor, the initial injury came during his March promotion tour with Aldo. While he's used to training with his SBG gym mates, who know when to turn it up and when to dial it back, going up against unfamiliar training partners in unfamiliar towns led to a bad result.
"I went traveling on the world tour, and I got injured training on the world tour with unfamiliar bodies in a competitive atmosphere," McGregor said. "This game break you down enough. You must find comfort with your training partners. It's about making it to contest, keeping body fresh and mind sharp.
"The game breaks individuals, so there's no point in being in the gym and breaking yourself down," he added. "That's what I learned on that whole experience."
Perhaps this is why McGregor was so caustic toward Aldo when Aldo's rib injury, suffered from a kick by a training partner, caused him to pull out of the fight.
Several months have passed, but McGregor has not softened his rhetoric.
"Every damn day I woke up I said to myself, the true greats, they conquer adversity, true greats can slice through adversity no problem," McGregor said. "Jose had his adversity and he ran from it. He might be able to come back from it, but he will never be able to leave the fact that he ran when I didn't."
Given Nova Unaio, Aldo's camp, has a history with injuries and weight-cutting mishaps, McGregor just hopes to see Aldo get to UFC 194 in one piece.
"I wish Jose well," McGregor said. "I wish him a safe camp. I hope they train smart, because they don't train smart over there. They get banged up and banged up and banged up and their body breaks. That's what you're seeing with Renan [Barao], that's why Renan had that second fight with TJ [Dillashaw], his preparation doesn't allow him to make adjustments."