The rivalry between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo is one of the most heated in the history of mixed martial arts. From the moment “The Notorious” arrived in the UFC as a fresh young featherweight, he’d set his sights on taking the belt off “Scarface.” For the next two and a half years, McGregor hounded Aldo endlessly online and in real life.
The two embarked on a unprecedented twelve stop world tour to promote their UFC 189 fight, and Conor antagonized Jose on every stop. When Aldo was forced to pull out of the bout with an injury, McGregor continued to harass him for the next four months until they finally fought at UFC 194. In retrospect it’s not all that surprising that Aldo ran blindly into a perfectly placed counter just 13 seconds into their fight.
Now Aldo is retired, and was just inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame during UFC 283. During a media scrum to discuss the honor, he revealed that he and Conor are now friends and talk through Instagram.
“Maybe back in the day it would have been an awesome event, but not today,” he said through an interpreter about the rematch between the two that never happened. “I do have a lot of respect for him, we’re friends. We even follow each other on Instagram, we exchange dialog on there.”
“Sometimes fans come up to me and say ‘Do you still feel like beating McGregor’ or something, and I say ‘How can I have animosity? That’s the guy that gave me the most money.’ I have nothing but respect and we have a friendship now.”
As for what they DM each other about?
“It’s a secret,” he joked before opening up a bit. “It’s usually good stuff. He’s just coming out of a big injury so we just exchange stuff about that. He’s had a massive impact on the sport, it’s usually just good stuff that we talk about.”
Aldo was also asked about a rumored incident back in 2016 after he beat Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight title. He returned to the hotel after the fight to find a pair of red panties hanging on his door. This was just six months after he’d lost to McGregor, but Aldo didn’t take offense to it.
“Yeah, just good light hearted fun,” he said. “We were at Red Rocks [Casino] owned by Lorenzo [Fertitta] in Las Vegas and we were window to window. And it was the night I beat Frankie Edgar, so he just sent it out as a light-hearted joke, I didn’t think anything about it. But maybe I could get my missus to wear it or something.”
While Aldo is retired from mixed martial arts, he may still stay active in other combat sports. Currently he plans to box in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 10th. No potential opponent has been named for the bout.