Conor McGregor recently dominated headlines for a bizarre incident at Bellator 187, in which he stormed the cage during his teammate Charlie Ward’s fight, and ultimately shoved referee Marc Goddard, and slapped a commissioner. These actions understandably generated scorn from the vast majority of the MMA community. Not everyone, however, faults McGregor for the way he acted. Former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, one of the fiercest rivals of McGregor’s career, even defended him.
“I haven’t seen the video, but I heard about it,” Aldo said during a media day in Rio de Janeiro (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com). “I think it’s normal. He’s an emotional guy, and when an Irishman is fighting the Irish people embrace them a lot. I don’t condemn him.”
“He didn’t do that for attention, he’s done that before. When we did The Ultimate Fighter, an athlete from his team won and he went up there and in there, he even tore his pants. He’s really emotional, and I don’t condemn him for what he’s done.”
Aldo even admitted that he has acted similarly in the past.
“How many times have I invaded the Shooto (cage) when someone close to me is fighting?” the former champion said. “I really go there. The referee talks to me, but I still do it. I think it’s the heat of the moment, but there are bigger things than just the rules.”
Jose Aldo will next fight on December 2, when he takes on current featherweight champion Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 218. This title shot was originally expected to go to long-time contender Frankie Edgar, who was unfortunately forced out of the bout with an injury.
Where do you stand on Conor McGregor’s antics at Bellator 187? Do you share Jose Aldo’s understanding outlook?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 20/11/2017.