Aldo: Mc­Gre­gor will take the fight money and run

UFC ex-cham­pion is sure Ir­ish­man will quit com­bat sports af­ter May­weather bout.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Lance Pug­mire lance.pug­mire@la­times.com Twit­ter: @la­time­spug­mire

Much of the sen­ti­ment boost­ing Conor Mc­Gre­gor’s chances for be­ing able to pull a stun­ning up­set over Floyd May­weather Jr. is rooted in the fact that Mc­Gre­gor ended former UFC cham­pion Jose Aldo’s 10-year un­beaten run with a knock­out in 13 sec­onds.

Aldo not only isn’t buy­ing the the­ory, he thinks it’s con­ceiv­able that Mc­Gre­gor will pocket the riches he’s fought and talked his way into and leave com­bat sports for good.

“There is no com­par­i­son. It is not sim­i­lar. To­tally dif­fer­ent,” Aldo said when asked if a re­peat of Mc­Gre­gor’s shock­ing De­cem­ber 2015 feath­er­weight ti­tle vic­tory in the UFC oc­tagon can be re­peated against May­weather (49-0) in the TMo­bile Arena box­ing ring on Aug. 26.

“There is no way Mc­Gre­gor can defeat May­weather. May­weather has done this his en­tire life and it’s a dif­fer­ent sport.”

Aldo made his com­ments fit­tingly at a box­ing event Satur­day night. The Brazil­ian watched near the cor­ner as his mid­dleweight coun­try­man Esquiva Fal­cao posted an un­der­card vic­tory at Mi­crosoft Theater on the card head­lined by su­per­feath­er­weight cham­pion Vasyl Lo­machenko.

Mc­Gre­gor sought on a four-stop in­ter­na­tional pro­mo­tional tour to men­tally in­fil­trate May­weather, 40, who has re­turned from a twoyear re­tire­ment for the bout that could po­ten­tially be­come the rich­est event in com­bat sports his­tory.

Dur­ing a sim­i­lar ex­tended buildup to Mc­Gre­gor’s show­down with Aldo that saw Mc­Gre­gor post an im­pres­sive knock­out of Chad Men­des for the UFC’s in­terim feath­er­weight ti­tle bout as Aldo re­cov­ered from an in­jury, the fast-wit­ted Mc­Gre­gor went af­ter Aldo at each face-to-face meet­ing, from steal­ing his belt to ac­cu­rately pre­dict­ing the firstround knock­out.

The vic­tory rock­eted the cred­i­bil­ity of Mc­Gre­gor’s “Mys­tic Mac” pre­dic­tions, fur­thered when he spoke of blood­y­ing the face of Nate Diaz in their re­match (which he did) and re­peat­edly ham­mer­ing then-light­weight cham­pion Ed­die Alvarez with punches to the face (also ac­com­plished).

Mc­Gre­gor is say­ing he’ll stop May­weather “in­side four rounds.”

Aldo scoffed both at Mc­Gre­gor’s fore­cast­ing pow­ers and the sug­ges­tion that the Ir­ish­man had pen­e­trated his psy­che.

“He and you can say what­ever you want, but he was a lucky guy to get the one punch and fin­ish it,” Aldo said. “There was noth­ing more to it than that.”

Af­ter los­ing the feath­er­weight belt to Max Hol­loway in June, Aldo has some work to do to re­po­si­tion for a re­match with Mc­Gre­gor.

Aldo doesn’t think it will ever hap­pen be­cause he said he sus­pects Mc­Gre­gor, 29, will leave fight­ing af­ter tak­ing home a purse ex­pected to ex­ceed $100 mil­lion from the May­weather bout.

“Af­ter May­weather, when he gets lots of mil­lions of dol­lars, he’ll prob­a­bly never fight again,” Aldo said.

UFC Pres­i­dent Dana White has said he ex­pects Mc­Gre­gor to de­fend his light­weight belt in the UFC by the end of the year if he emerges healthy from the May­weather bout. Mc­Gre­gor, said White, has also said he’ll ven­ture to Rus­sia to fight un­beaten light­weight con­tender Khabib Nur­magome­dov.

White has at­tended some of Mc­Gre­gor’s re­cent spar­ring ses­sions in Las Ve­gas, with the fighter sched­uled to pro­vide an up­date on his prepa­ra­tion at a Fri­day af­ter­noon me­dia day.

“It looks damn good. I’ve got to say I was im­pressed,” White said, dis­miss­ing the no­tion that Mc­Gre­gor made a mis­take by not align­ing with one of the re­spected Cal­i­for­nia box­ing train­ers, like Fred­die Roach, Abel Sanchez or Vir­gil Hunter, since he’s been out of the oc­tagon since Novem­ber.

“Here’s the thing: Box­ing guys have been go­ing af­ter Floyd May­weather for years and no­body’s been able to do it,” White said. “What are they go­ing to teach Conor? Conor knows how to fight. Conor fights in real fights, and he’s go­ing to show Floyd a com­pletely dif­fer­ent look than tra­di­tional box­ing guys. Conor’s go­ing to … fight Floyd May­weather.”

Aldo dis­agrees, mov­ing his head af­fir­ma­tively to the ques­tion of whether Mc­Gre­gor is con­duct­ing one of the great­est con jobs in sports his­tory.

“It’s a joke.” Aldo said. “He’s just look­ing for the money.”

‘There is no way Mc­Gre­gor can defeat May­weather. May­weather has done this his en­tire life and it’s a dif­fer­ent sport.’ — Jose Aldo, UFC former cham­pion, on the Conor Mc­Gre­gor-Floyd May­weather Jr. matchup

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