Jose Aldo wasn't going to play verbal punching bag at this tour stop.
The UFC featherweight champion hit back at Irish fans during the UFC 189 World Tour press conference Tuesday in Dublin. Aldo might have borrowed some of Conor McGregor's material, but at least he didn't let the thousands of Irish fans in attendance walk all over him.
"It's cool to see you all happy right now, but when I win the fight you're all going to bow down to me," Aldo said through a translator.
Aldo started fighting back from the start of the press conference. He was asked the first question by a media member and said a similar thing that McGregor did in Rio de Janeiro, Aldo's hometown.
"I'm the king of Dublin," Aldo said. "When I got here, it was raining, but I brought the sun with me. I'm the king of Dublin. I'm the champion."
That line prompted McGregor to come over to the other side of the dais and snatch Aldo's belt from in front of him. Aldo gave chase, but UFC president Dana White got between the two men and security intervened. Things settled down thereafter, but it was a fever pitch inside the venue.
Aldo will defend the featherweight title against McGregor at UFC 189 on July 11 in Las Vegas. It is likely to be the biggest UFC event of the year with White predicting a $7 million gate and more than 1 million pay-per-view buys. UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler meets Rory MacDonald in the co-main event.
Aldo was asked how it felt to be in front of a few thousand Irish fans and the champ scoffed.
"This is nothing for me," Aldo said. "You're all going to keep crying. I fought in front of 50,000. You only have 2,000 here. I'm still going to be the champion after this fight. This spit bucket you're talking about, he's going to use it to clean my belt when I win."
A fan asked Aldo how it felt that McGregor was the reason this fight got a world tour promotional opportunity from the UFC. Aldo laughed it off.
"He's going to bring in money for me," he said. "After him, it's just another. My pocket will be full of money."
Aldo (25-1), who has not lost in 10 years and has defended the UFC/WEC title nine times, didn't back down from the constant barrage of insults, some of them incredibly disrespectful.
"I've never had any fear in my entire career," he said. "This is normal to me."