RIO DE JANEIRO — Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor are cool again after a very intense post-fight press conference in Milwaukee.
The Brazilian featherweight said on this week’s episode of MMA Fighting podcast Trocação Franca he misinterpreted McGregor’s comments right after his boxing draw with Jeremy Stephens earlier this month at Gamebred Boxing, which led to his profane tirade at “The Notorious”.
“I was a little heated,” Aldo said. “I had just re-watched the match in the locker room and I had won, everybody said it, and right after that a reporter asked me [about McGregor’s comments], and I hadn’t seen what Conor had said. I called him names, laughed a lot, because of that. But when I got to Brazil, I messaged him apologizing because I saw it wasn’t his intention to challenge me, he was trying to give me a push. I misunderstood [his intentions]. But we’re cool again. Conor is my friend. I wish him all the best.”
Aldo and McGregor have been very cordial toward each other over the past few years, an unusual friendship after what was one of the most heated and important rivalries in UFC history. Now a full-time boxer after retiring from MMA, Aldo said he’s “super open” to traveling to Ireland and training with “The Notorious”.
“Yes. Why not?” said Aldo, who won his boxing debut via decision earlier this year in Rio de Janeiro before fighting to a majority draw in April. “I have to learn a lot in boxing. There are some great Irish boxers, so if I have the opportunity to go to Ireland and train with Conor and the Irish, I’m super open to it. Especially pro boxing. It’s a new world, and I have to learn from the best. Conor has good boxing, he fought Mayweather in boxing, so he has a lot to teach me.”
Aldo told MMA Fighting earlier this year he was in talks for a potential exhibition bout with Mayweather in Saudi Arabia but said he has since changed focus a little bit. The former UFC and WEC featherweight champion revealed he was offered a spot on a future Gamebred Boxing card later in 2023, but is in talks for a match in Saudi Arabia in early July against a yet-to-be defined professional boxer.
“Ali [Abdelaziz] had already negotiated with [Mayweather’s] staff and it was agreed with the Saudi Arabia people, the sheik,” Aldo said. “But I think they’re liking what I’m showing in boxing and it’s creating a euphoria to aim at bigger things as well. We’re not past the idea of boxing Mayweather, it might happen, but we have other plans first.”
“I wanted to build a career in boxing like everybody does, to start against easier opponents and earn experience until you get there, but given the name I have, it’s hard to take the same path everybody else does. We’re trying to choose the right fight. Jeremy was way heavier than me now. I was at 157 pounds when I went to the arena on fight night and he was over 177. There was a huge difference.
“As soon as the fight ended, Ali said we won, but we had to fight on the right weight class. I’ll fight at 140. But since new opportunities have come around in boxing, maybe this Mayweather match will have to wait a little bit.”