Conor McGregor’s coach has praised Jose Aldo for his recent performances in the UFC, labelling the Brazilian as a “champion beater.”
Former featherweight king Aldo has outpointed Marlon Vera, Pedro Munhoz and Rob Font in his last three bantamweight fights.
The Brazilian initially struggled at his new weight class having lost a close decision to Marlon Moraes and missing out on the title to Petr Yan.
It looked as if Aldo’s UFC days were over and he was at the end of career, but he said training with the Brazilian Navy after losing to Yan lit a fire inside of him.
Aldo’s decade-long unbeaten run was broken by McGregor when the Irishman knocked him out in just 13 seconds in their 2015 fight.
The pair have since put their rivalry behind them and McGregor has showed his support for Aldo, branding him a “warrior”.r
And McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh shares the same outlook on the top bantamweight contender.
“Look what Aldo’s done. He’s come back completely reinvigorated at 135 and he’s looking world-class,” Kavanagh said on The MMA Hour.
“He’s looking like a champion beater. And if he gets that [TJ] Dillashaw fight, I think we’ll really see just how far he’s come since then.
“I’m sure Conor would love to see it, and certainly I would love to see him have his hand raised and have that belt at 135.”
Aldo was the featherweight champion in the WEC for two years before the promotion merged with the UFC, defeating veterans such as Urijah Faber and Cub Swanson.
And Kavanagh said he was one of Aldo’s biggest fans during his time in the WEC.
He continued: “I’m sure I spoke about it a lot at the time, but going back, I was a massive WEC fan,”
“If you’re a WEC fan, you’re obsessed with Aldo. He was the first one that I really saw, a striking-based MMA guy that just dismantled grapplers.
“So I was trying to learn a lot from what he did. And even going back further than that, his amazing coach ‘Dede’ [Andre Pederneiras], I watched him back in the Pride days.
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McGregor vs Aldo was billed to be the biggest fight in UFC featherweight history, but the Irishman was an underdog coming into the fight.
Kavanagh said he somewhat “regrets” the fight being over so soon as the fight was bound to produce a fascinating clash in styles.
“There was nobody that was a bigger fan of that team and Aldo specifically than me. In the lead up to that [UFC 194] fight, I had many sleepless nights,” Kavanagh admitted.
“Looking at those leg kicks and his takedown defense and his speed and his technique and his experience. I somewhat regretted how the fight went, because I would have loved to see the clash of styles and some more exchanges.”