Jose Aldo is not paying too much attention to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comments.
Nurmagomedov made headlines in August when he stated his opinion that Aldo was not experiencing a second peak in his mixed martial arts career.
What was most surprising, however, was Nurmagomedov stating that Aldo was only fighting for money these days.
“Let him fight Petr Yan in the same way then we can say he’s peaking again,” Nurmagomedov told reporters. “You saw what he did, he closed up and waited for the ref to stop the fight. That shows that you’re not at your peak. If you’re getting hit and you’re conscious and you’re not defending yourself, I call those fighters businessmen, they come out to make money.
“There are real champions who go hard on everyone. They don’t care about the money, of course, it’s an important aspect but he has the competitive spirit.”
It took a while, but Aldo finally responded to the former lightweight king.
“He’s saying you can’t peak again, but we just saw an example with Glover [Teixeira], who got there, lost, and got there again at age 42 and won [the UFC title], completely dominated the champion, took him down and submitted him,” Aldo said in a recent interview (via MMA Fighting). “[Israel] Adesanya himself fought [Jan Blachowicz] for five rounds, a pretty boring fight, two high-level athletes, and Glover, who’s older than me [won].
“Sometimes Khabib talks too much. He’s not doing much these days, he’s retired, so he’s looking for [attention] that way.”
Jose Aldo: Nurmagomedov Turned Down 2016 Fight
Aldo and Nurmagomedov certainly have history.
It appeared the pair were set to compete at one point with Aldo notably claiming in 2016 that a nameless opponent had turned down a fight with him for the interim lightweight title.
Aldo revealed at the time that the opponent’s father said it wasn’t a good idea which in turn led to the fighter turning it down. As it turns out, it was Nurmagomedov after all.
“I was traveling when [my coach] ‘Dede’ [Pederneiras] called me,” Aldo said. “The [UFC] had offered me this fight and we took it. I said, ‘What? I want that, I’m in.’ I respect everybody, but that opportunity … I was the featherweight champion, and [Nurmagomedov] didn’t think it was a good [idea]. I don’t know if he was expecting to fight somebody else, I don’t know what he was thinking at the time. I think it could have been a great fight.
“I wanted to test myself. Everybody always asks me. … It’s funny, everybody thinks I train wrestling a lot. No, man, I usually do the same training with my team, so, to me, it would have been a really tough test. I’ve always fought against American wrestling and it was hard to take me down, so it would be a tough test against him, if he would be able to impose his takedown game against me knowing that I have pretty good takedown defense as well.”
It would have certainly been one of heck of a fight.
That said, Nurmagomedov’s comments still remain very much out of line. Whether “The Eagle” responds remains to be seen at the moment.