If Conor McGregor was hoping to get a reaction out of reigning UFC featherweight king Jose Aldo (pictured) when he hopped the cage after Sunday’s lopsided victory over Dennis Siver to talk smack right in Aldo’s face, he certainly did. Aldo flashed him a massive Kool-Aid smile.
While McGregor was going bat crazy, while seemingly ensuring security got between them as he was entrenched in his antics so no physical altercation would ensue, Aldo stood there as cool as a cucumber and merely smiled.
Why was Aldo smiling during such an intense public confrontation? Is the man he’s anointed the “Joker” of the division he’s ruled since day 1 in the UFC that funny?
After hyping McGregor to the umpteenth degree, essentially shoving the chatty Irishman down the general public’s throats for yesterday’s coming out party, the UFC was hoping for pay-per-view gold by ushering Aldo into the cage for a face-off with a victorious McGregor.
Instead, McGregor one-upped them by taking matters into his own hands and went after Aldo. After wrangling “Notorious” back into the octagon, Aldo was supposed to join him. However, the Brazilian is reportedly “superstitious” and doesn’t like to enter the cage unless he’s fighting.
Aldo conducted his interview outside the fence alongside translator Jorge Gurgel with UFC commentator Joe Rogan. Rogan asked if Aldo was impressed with McGregor’s performance against Siver. Gurgel had yet gotten the opportunity to relay the question, but there was Aldo’s smile once again.
So, why is Aldo in such a sprightly mood? Simple, he’s about to get paid.
Despite being the only featherweight champion the UFC has ever known, Aldo hasn’t been shy about expressing his displeasure in his paychecks. Finally, the Chael Sonnen to his Anderson Silva has come along that will allow him to enjoy a massive payday.
Although he’s the champion, Aldo’s media demands will likely be less than McGregor’s. Aldo doesn’t speak English and the trash talk tends to lose it’s luster in translation. McGregor, however, is blessed with unprecedented gift of the gab that has broken all language barriers.
Aldo can simply sit back, let McGregor do most of the pre-fight promotional heavy lifting, like Sunday’s came jumping incident, and watch the bags of money roll in.
McGregor predicted their highly-anticipated scrap will break the rumored 740,000-820,000 pay-per-view buys UFC 182 did earlier this month that featured the grudge match between light heavyweight champ Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier.
Maybe. Lord knows McGregor will do everything in his power to ensure the pre-fight hoopla is at 100.
UFC brass are aiming for a Memorial Day weekend showdown in Las Vegas. Aldo is happily counting down the days until he scores the payday he’s been desperately seeking.