Back at UFC 194, undisputed UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo stepped into the Octagon with interim featherweight champion Conor McGregor for a highly anticipated showdown for the undisputed featherweight title.
Leading up to the fight, the MMA community was torn on their predictions for the fight. While some felt Aldo’s reign of dominance would continue, others believed that McGregor would tear through Aldo like he had so many past opponents. When the pair finally stepped into the Octagon, it took McGregor just 13 seconds to end Aldo’s reign as champion and secure the featherweight title.
Today, a year and a half after McGregor’s win over Jose Aldo, the Irish superstar appears to have no intentions of fighting in the UFC’s featherweight division again. With Aldo now promoted to undisputed champion, as he prepares to defend his title against interim champion Max Holloway, Nova Uniao head coach Andre Pederneiras spoke to ESPN to discuss why a potential rematch with Conor McGregor likely will never happen:
“It was just difficult because after his fight with Frankie, he wanted Conor,” Pederneiras said. “But Conor wouldn’t accept the fight, and after that, Aldo started to think about retirement. We flew to Vegas to meet with Dana, and Dana said, ‘I can give you some freedom to box, and if you want to retire, OK, but your UFC contract will continue.’ Aldo started to think again, if he wasn’t given full freedom to box, still under contract, waiting for a chance to fight Conor, maybe he would try to fight at 155 pounds. That’s when we tried to fight [lightweight] Khabib Nurmagomedov, but his dad did not want him to accept. And then Holloway accepted to fight us after he beat Anthony Pettis in December, but said he needed to take his son to Disneyland and needed to do a movie, so now, finally, he has the time to fight.”
“Always. Always. We want a fight with Conor McGregor,” he said. But it’s hard to get. We know that. We know he doesn’t ever want to fight Aldo again. Maybe in boxing. Maybe he’d accept a boxing match. When we were meeting with Dana, he told us, ‘Conor does not want to fight you. I tried everything to put him in to a fight with you. I can’t put a gun to his head.’ That’s the word, from Dana to us. Dana told that to Aldo, directly.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/1/2017.