The long build to the grudge match between Aldo (25-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) and McGregor (18-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) has been filled with tense moments and unexpected twists. Countless words have been exchanged, and because of that next Saturday’s championship fight is expected to be one of the biggest in UFC history.
One thing that makes MMA so unique, though, is the level of sportsmanship when all is said and done. The most bitter of relationships can be hashed out over the course of a 25- or 15-minute fight, and both Aldo and McGregor are rational enough to realize they will likely take a moment to embrace regardless of how the UFC 194 headliner plays out.
“I’m really thinking of the fight right now, but after the fight’s over, I see no problem in shaking his hand,” Aldo told MMAjunkie through an interpreter. “You know, we’re going to have to see how the fight plays out, but I’m going to be there working as well as he’s going to be in there working, and everyone else is, so I don’t see a problem with that.”
McGregor, who is arguably the boldest and most controversial character on the UFC’s roster, echoed those sentiments and said his differences with Aldo will be settled inside the octagon.
“I am always respectful, free, unposed, (and) I touch the glove before the fight begins,” McGregor said. “I won’t touch the glove when the referee waves us in to fight, and then I’ll touch the glove after the fight when it’s all said and done. This is business. On Dec. 12, two nations will collide, but peace will be restored through battle.”