Conor McGregor has found unlikely support as his path back from a broken leg begins.
The Irishman suffered a broken tibia and fibula at the end of the first round of his fight with Dustin Poirier at UFC 264.
Jose Aldo, McGregor’s first true UFC rival and the man he won the UFC featherweight title from, supports The Notorious to make a full recovery and fight once again.
“First of all, I’m upset about the injury,” Aldo told Ag. Fight. “It’s quite difficult, we work with our body, we try to keep it healthy because that way we can still work.
“I think he can [get back to fighting at a high level]. I never doubt the champions, the spirit and the will of champions. He has dominated before and was the lightweight and featherweight champion. It all depends on him. If he wants to come back to a high level, he can do it.
McGregor says he will fight again and is aiming for a comeback next year against Dustin Poirier. UFC President Dana White has tentatively suggested that July 2022 could be on the cards.
His rivalry with Aldo in 2015 is what catapulted McGregor to the fore. The Notorious was extremely entertaining and he was looking to get under Aldo’s skin and it was clear that during their promotional tour McGregor had gotten into his head.
Even better for McGregor and his mystique, he would knock out Aldo in just 13 seconds when they met for the undisputed featherweight title. It’s still the fastest knockout ever in a UFC title fight.
Aldo believed McGregor was doing well before his leg break – unlike a few 10-8s from the judges – and he thinks that if McGregor thinks about it, he can not only come back but gain the upper hand.
“The fight was going well especially because Conor forgot [his promotional] side and tried to be the fighter and win until that leg situation happened, ”Aldo said. “But, man, I think it’s up to him [to return]. If he wants to come back, he will work hard, give up some things to get there, dedicate himself and return to the path of victory.
McGregor teased that he would box in a wheelchair against impressionist Al Foran for charity, although it may not be until late this year or early 2022.
Aldo is back in action this weekend. The Brazilian faces Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265, but he’s only won three times in nine fights since taking on McGregor after going undefeated for 10 years.