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Jose Aldo closes door on Conor McGregor rematch: ‘Never’

Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor met in a title unification bout in 2015 but it lasted 13 seconds.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A big win over perennial bantamweight contender Pedro Munhoz pushed Jose Aldo one step closer to another shot at the 135-pound title in the UFC, and once again inspired talks about a potential rematch with Conor McGregor.

The Nova Uniao star wants no part of it, though.

Aldo put on one of the best performances of his stellar career at UFC 265, defeating Munhoz via unanimous decision to notch his second straight win after outpointing Marlon Vera this past December. Soon after, ESPN commentators Chael Sonnen and Max Kellerman re-ignited talk of a rematch with the Irishman..

Aldo and McGregor met in a title unification bout in 2015, and the fight lasted 13 seconds, with the Irish superstar dethroning Aldo in devastating fashion. Aldo insisted on an immediate rematch since he had dominated the weight class for over five years in the now-defunct WEC and UFC, but the promotion never booked it. Instead, they allowed McGregor to move up a division and challenge for a second title.

Now, Aldo is thriving at 135 pounds, and McGregor holds just one victory over the past five years while recovering from a leg break suffered against Dustin Poirier at UFC 264. The Brazilian sees no appetite and no need for a do-over.

“That’s what I don’t understand, brother,” Aldo said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “Back when it should have happened, like they are going [other] rematches and trilogies, I didn’t have the opportunity, no one considered anything, and each one went their way. Now that the situation has inverted again, it feels like they have the obligation to book it.

“No, I don’t see myself fighting Conor. Never, I think. I can even say that. It might happen tomorrow, but that’s not the path. I root for him today, I hope he recovers from the injury and fights again at the highest level and becomes champion again, because that way he and I will always be together. No matter if I’m down and he’s up or the other way around, people will always put out names together, and that way we carry each other up.”

Aldo began a new diet in 2019 to make the move to 135 pounds and has since made weight four times, while McGregor hasn’t competed at featherweight since the night he beat the Brazilian. “The Notorious” even had a trio of bouts at welterweight along the way.

“No, man, there’s no way,” Aldo said of a rematch at lightweight. “I’m going after a fight for the belt, I want to build this career at bantamweight and make history this way. I’m happy that Sonnen and others are talking about this rematch, but I don’t see myself [fighting him]. I see my next fight being at bantamweight, and that way we’ll be close to fighting for the belt.”

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