Champ Jose Aldo on UFC 194: “I’ll be the champion, and the only champion”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo’s ready to defend his UFC Featherweight Championship next week at UFC 194, and he’s expecting to prove that he’s above and beyond Conor McGregor in this division.

“First off, everybody knows that I am the champion,” Aldo said in an interview with “He’s just interim, he just walks around with a belt but everybody knows that I’m the real champion. I don’t worry about what he does but I’m going to go in there and when I win, then everything will go back to normal. I’ll be the champion, and the only champion.

“I believe he got to where he is just by talking. I believe he’s behind Chad [Mendes] and Frankie [Edgar]. He got here by marketing himself. I’ve always believed he’ll be at the end of the line behind me, behind Frankie, and behind Chad.”

Aldo says he’s not rattled by anything McGregor’s had to say in the lead up to the fight, and no matter what predictions McGregor might have for the fight itself, Aldo says he knows in his own head how the fight will play out.

“I’m not paying attention to anything he does. I don’t care what he does. I’m always focused, I stay focused and that’s how I’ve always been throughout my whole career,” Aldo said. “When we get inside [the Octagon], that’s how I am – I’m calm, I don’t worry about anything else. I’m always just focused on the task ahead. I’ve always been like that.

“I don’t care about his predictions or anything he says. I know how the fight will end. I know how it’s going to go down. Many people that fought him said that he’s not that strong, he doesn’t punch hard, so I don’t worry about how he thinks the fight is going to go – I know how the fight is going to go on my side. That’s for you guys to see at the fight.”

Penick’s Analysis: McGregor got under Aldo’s skin once or twice during the world tour earlier this year, but Aldo’s shown himself to have great discipline time and again. He steps up to whatever challenge gets put in front of him, and if McGregor gives him a significant challenge in the fight, we might see the best of him as we did in the last Chad Mendes bout. McGregor could still prove himself to be everything he’s said, and if he can pull off the victory over Aldo he’ll make these comments from the champ false. Still, that’s incumbent on him to prove wrong, and Aldo’s determined to not allow that to happen.

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