UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo has decided to tear a page out of Conor McGregor’s trash-talking playbook.
After 13 years in the MMA game, Aldo has finally learned that talking the talk is just as – if not more – important (sometimes) than walking the walk.
“I think it’s great,” Aldo said of smack talking during Tuesday’s UFC 212 press conference in Rio de Janeiro. “That’s what sells fights. That’s what brings us money. We’re in a generation that’s totally different from when I began in the sport. When I started in the sport, with the athletes and fighters, there was honor and respect among us – the whole fight philosophy. There’s high-end fighters, and then there’s real fighters.
“Today, if you don’t talk and provoke, you’re not going to fight anyone. You’re just going to stay in the end of the line because the rankings are no good.”
Aldo will certainly never be mistaken for McGregor on the mic, but he’s now actually willing to promote his fights instead of staying silent as he has throughout his illustrious career. At the end of the day, the fight business is all about making as much money as you can.
“What really gets you somewhere is to talk about your opponent and sell your fight,” Aldo added. “That’s what matters today. I think that’s totally normal. My fight [against McGregor], I made a lot of money, so that’s what I think about today. I think about being the champion I always was, having this honor and respect in all these things I’ve learned, but I don’t need to maintain this good boy status. I need to get in there and talk trash.”
It took McGregor only 13 seconds to snap Aldo’s torrid 18-fight win streak at UFC 194. While the UFC featherweight king came crashing down, face-first, that December 2015 night, banking the biggest payday of his life certainly helped Aldo ease the pain.
That brief bout, as well as all of the pre-fight hoopla leading up to it, taught Aldo plenty of lessons that he intends to incorporate into his game moving forward.
Aldo looks to unify the featherweight crown against interim champ Max Holloway at UFC 212.