In a few short weeks, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo will attempt to defend his title against interim featherweight champ Max Holloway. The two will share the main event spot of UFC 212, which will go down on June 3 in sun soaked Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In advance of this fight, Aldo and Holloway have exchanged some memorable trash talk – something Aldo says he would have steered away from in the early years of his career, when honor and respect ruled the sport.
“I think that this rivalry is great because it sells more and gives us money,” Aldo said at a Tuesday press conference in Rio (via MMAFighting.com). “We’re going through a new generation now that is completely different than when I started in the sport. When I started, athletes fought for honor, respect, philosophy. Today, it’s not a real fighter. It’s this joke. If you don’t talk, you fight for nothing, you’ll be left behind.”
Aldo went on to explain that he’s come to understand that trash talk generates interest, and that interest generates money.
“Rankings mean nothing, you have to talk trash,” he continued. “What drives this [sport] today is money, and that’s super normal to me now. I made a lot of money [against Conor McGregor], and I’m thinking about it now. I think about continuing being champion and having my honor and respect, but it’s not worth being the good guy anymore. The thing is to talk trash. Talking makes the fight bigger. … When the fight is over, everyone goes in opposite sides with money in the pocket. You have to talk trash because that brings money.”
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This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/12/2017.