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Jose Aldo: Conor McGregor's spies must be telling him that I'm going to win

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

LAS VEGAS -- At this point, it takes more than a few cryptic words to get Jose Aldo riled up. The UFC featherweight champion responded to Conor McGregor's declarations that he had spies in Aldo's camp, answering with a scoff and a smirk at Wednesday's UFC 194 press conference in Las Vegas, and shaking off McGregor's attempts at head games just as he has done for much of the past few months.

"That's not a problem," Aldo said through a translator. "His spies must be saying that I'm going to go in there and win the fight, so I'm very easy about that."

Aldo and McGregor's rivalry at last reaches its elusive culmination this Saturday at UFC 194, bringing to a head nearly a year worth of insults and build-up between the two featherweights.

The lead-up to this fight week has been starkly different from July's lead-up to UFC 189, however, as it has lacked a promotional entity like the UFC 189 World Tour, which forced Aldo into close proximity with McGregor for over a week.

In many ways, the World Tour became a tool for McGregor to use to his advantage, as he needled Aldo any chance he could and drew continual reactions from the usually stoic Brazilian. However the Aldo of UFC 194 is in a far different place than his summer self, having spent nearly all of the past five months at home in Rio de Janeiro and away from McGregor's taunts.

That difference in approach showed again on Wednesday, as a more relaxed Aldo brushed off virtually all of McGregor's various slights and promises without once raising his voice or directly responding.

"The world tour was a bit tiring because we were going from city to city," Aldo admitted. "Each day we were in a different city, so it is tiring. But once you get back in the gym and you retain your focus, you go from there.

"I really don't dwell on what he said. I'm here to fight, and that's what I'm going to do. Whatever he says, it doesn't get to me. I have faith in my trainers and my coaches to go in there and finish the job."

Aldo acknowledged that not only in his homeland of Brazil, but throughout the world he has heard endless pleas for him to quiet his loquacious Irish rival in what many are calling the biggest UFC event of the year. He also refuted a previous rumor started by his training partner, kickboxer Andy Souwer, declaring unequivocally that he does not plan to retire after UFC 194 -- that, at 29 years old, he feels he has much more left for the sport, and that the next step of that legacy starts with McGregor.

"I don't know why people are commenting on that, but I'm still 29," Aldo said. "They want to retire me, but I got a lot ahead of me.

"If the fight stays on our feet, I'm going to finish it," he added. "If it goes to the ground, I'm going to finish it as well."

Though perhaps the biggest roar from the Brazilian contingent inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena came when Aldo addressed the various Las Vegas sportsbooks that opened him as a betting underdog to McGregor, and still have him listed as such, despite a résumé that includes a decade of dominance and eight years as the undisputed best featherweight in the world.

"I don't really care about that," Aldo said with a shrug. "I don't really even know who's making those odds. But if you want to win some easy money, you bet on Jose Aldo and you're going to win it."