Nate Diaz wasn’t shy about accusing UFC superstar Conor McGregor (pictured), and essentially the entire UFC roster, of abusing steroids before submitting him at UFC 196. You can now add former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo to the list of fighters who believe McGregor is powered by performance-enhancing drugs.
Aldo revealed over the weekend that the UFC did in fact approach him about replacing injured lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos to face McGregor at UFC 196, but Aldo had to decline since he hadn’t been training. Diaz, who was partying in Cabo when he received the offer, didn’t hesitate to accept the scrap on just 11 days’ notice.
The last-second notice wasn’t the only reason Aldo wasn’t interested, he’s intent on reclaiming the featherweight throne McGregor took in just 13 seconds at UFC 194 in November. Oh, yeah. There was also that whole “juicing” thing.
“The fight was not at featherweight. Why would I rematch him in a different weight class with no belt?” Aldo said at the Arnold Classic in Brazil (transcribed by MMAFighting.com). “Now, to make this fight at 155, where he was full of juice in his body, where he hides and nobody tests him, only when he gets to Las Vegas, a week before the fight, and then it’s way easier for you to clean the body and fight. They offered the fight knowing that I wasn’t trained at all. I can’t say anything. I can train, beat Frankie Edgar and then know that I’ve earned my fight for the title again.”
McGregor has never tested positive for any banned substances during his eight-year MMA career. He vehemently denied taking any PEDs when Diaz accused him of it right to his face. Aldo is clearly working on theory and not facts with his accusation, similarly to how many have spotlighted the fact Brazilian fighters can do the same thing while training in their homeland before arriving to America to compete.
After feeling McGregor’s power firsthand, it’s understandable why Aldo would want to believe the confident Irishman is working with superhuman strength.
Before calling it a day, Aldo wanted to take a dig at the UFC for doing him “dirty.” After a month of radio silence when they were blowing up the UFC’s phone pleading for an immediate rematch, Aldo says they knew he wasn’t active when they finally offered him another tango with McGregor so they could use that denial to further boost the McGregor hype train.
“We called and texted him every day (asking for the rematch) and nothing,” Aldo said. “There was no talk for a month. I waited for a call from Dana (White) for three weeks, and when he texted ‘Dede’ (Pederneiras) I was doing a charity soccer match in Manaus, and he talked about replacing Rafael. He knew I wasn’t training because I was coming back from (medical) suspension. They already had in mind who to put against Conor. That’s the path they try to follow, and it’s kind of dirty to me. There’s no negotiation. We ask, and not always we get a response. When they respond is like that, and then they say they love us. It’s a bit weird. But what can I do?”
McGregor gets an immediate rematch with Diaz July 9 at UFC 200. Aldo, meanwhile, will battle Frankie Edgar for the vacant featherweight belt that same night. Fight week smack talk should be fun since McGregor could be hearing it from not only Diaz, but also Aldo.