Jose Aldo brands UFC rival Conor McGregor a coward
By Peter Gilbert
Last Updated: 30/11/16 11:26am
Jose Aldo has branded Conor McGregor a "coward" and claims he only lost his featherweight title to the Irishman "by accident".
The Brazilian suffered his first defeat in 10 years when was knocked out by McGregor in just 13 seconds at UFC 194 last December.
'Notorious' stepped up to lightweight and stopped Eddie Alvarez inside two rounds last month to make history by becoming the first fighter to hold to UFC titles simultaneously.
However, the Dubliner announced at the weekend he was vacating the featherweight crown and Aldo has since been named as the new linear 145lbs champion.
"I knew this would happen," Aldo told ufc.com. "To me, I have always been the champion. I lost that fight because of an accident.
"I know I could win in a rematch. I knew I would be champion again. It's not my fault that McGregor is a coward, that he was never champion.
"I don't see myself losing to anyone in this weight class, or any other."
Aldo bounced back from defeat to McGregor by defeating Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 to secure the interim title, but a rematch with his nemesis is never far from his mind.
The 30-year-old is willing to move up to 155lbs to challenge McGregor for the lightweight title but first he is expected to face the winner of next month's interim fight between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway.
"It's logical that I give a lot of thought to that rematch, and it's a certainty that it will happen," added Aldo. "But I want to defend my belt first. Then I can start preparing to face McGregor [at lightweight]."
Pettis and Holloway headline UFC 206 in Toronto on December 10.
"I don't care - I'll be prepared to face whoever wins," said Aldo. "Of course, Pettis has a bigger name; he was champion once, and it would be a bigger fight. But if Holloway wins. it's fine.
"I'm going to win anyway."