UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo sat down with the media in Las Vegas to discuss his upcoming title defense against Conor McGregor on July 11, and he will have to do it for a few more days during the UFC 189 world tour.
Aldo expects McGregor to "talk trash" every chance he has, including about "taking over favelas" in Rio, but he won’t worry about it.
"I lived in a favela," Aldo said. "I wasn’t upset when he said that. He talks a lot. If I care about everything he says, I will be f---ed. I just relax, try to stay cool. It’s normal. I’m here to promote the fight. When I’m inside the cage, nobody will take anything away from me. I focus on the fight, not on what people say. Pressure is nothing. It’s part of the job. I fight in there. There is where I have to prove everything. In there, I will be concentrated to do my job."
The first and only UFC featherweight champion doesn’t see McGregor’s pre-fight talk as unique. In fact, he compares "The Notorious’" talks to one of the fighters he faced in WEC.
"Cub Swanson was the first to talk a lot on fight week in the WEC, and I got there and ran through him," said Aldo, who finished Swanson in eight seconds. "It’s going to be the same thing with this one.
"I was never upset (with everything McGregor said). I just laughed at it. It’s tough to get me pissed off. My mind is my strongest weapon. It’s hard to get into my mind. I don’t worry about it. Face-offs mean nothing. I’m in his head and he knows what’s coming.
"He asked me to look into his eyes and I did. I saw how he is. I’ve studied him, I know all his movements. I already know what to do in there."
When asked if McGregor is the fight that worries him the most in his MMA career, Aldo went back to his WEC days one more time.
"Every fight is my biggest challenge. I don’t look at the opponent, I look at the fight," Aldo said. "I train a lot, but Urijah (Faber) was the one that I was most worried about. I trained hard because he’s tough.
"I was fighting in Urijah’s house, in front of his fans, and he’s tough, so I was worried," he continued. "I’m more experienced now, I’ve been through tough situations and I’m fine. Everything depends on me and my team."
Aldo recently changed his way of promoting fights, though. He even pushed Chad Mendes during a media day last year in Rio de Janeiro.
"I didn’t like to promote fights like that at first, but that’s something we have to do," he said. "We don’t win the fight only in there. We have to do things here to make it bigger as well."
But when McGregor jumped out of the Octagon in Boston to go after the champion, Aldo stayed put.
"I thought it was funny," Aldo laughed. "He was screaming but didn’t do anything. He was holding the security. It was funny."
The last stop of the UFC 189 world tour is Dublin, and Aldo will have an idea of how important this fight is for McGregor’s country. He plans on ruining their plans on July 11, but won’t say how.
"I usually don’t say how I’m going to win, but I can guarantee you I’m going to win," Aldo said. "About finishing fights, when you’re the champion everybody studies you, has their eyes on you. That’s the fight of your opponent’s life as well. I always want to throw one punch and end the fight and go back home, but that doesn’t happen all the time. If I can finish the fight, I will, but I will be ready to fight five rounds."