There are times MMA seems a bit too much like pro-wrestling. With the over-the-top personas, trash-talking, and even the occasional masked man, the events leading up to a mixed martial arts match can look eerily similar to something taken straight out of the WWE’s playbook.
The main difference, of course, is that MMA is real. The fighters are actually getting hit, the losers are actually losing, and the yelling and screaming between fighters is a genuine representation of how they feel about each other.
Well, according to Interim UFC Featherweight Champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo, not quite.
While the hitting is certainly real and the matches are probably not fixed (despite what Wanderlei Silva once claimed and later retracted), the mutual hatred he had for Conor McGregor was not quite as intense as the cameras let on.
“It’s a friendly relationship.” Aldo told Revisito Combate. “I don’t have a problem with him trying to promote himself. If we take a look at it money-wise, it was pretty good. I think there should be more fighters like him at featherweight.”
Jose also said Conor’s pugnacious personality is primarily for show and that the seemingly brash Irishman is a “regular, mellow guy” when he’s not in front of the cameras.
“I’ve seen him staring at a wall, looking at nothing with everyone around him trying to taunt him and he would just stand there, gazing. He’s a regular, mellow guy, but if he sees a camera or some Irish people, he transforms in a such way that makes you say to yourself ‘son of a *****'”.
“One day we were hanging out and he said he was going to get the coffee and I said I wanted mine with sugar and he said something like ‘nice’. Most of the times we met, there was always someone recording us, though, so he had to keep his persona up. With no cameras, he changes completely.”
Scarface isn’t the only one who has claimed McGregor isn’t quite as in-your-face as he seems. Former Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw made similar statements about Conor’s persona, saying the Dubliner was a different person on camera.
However, even though the hostility between the two featherweight champs may not have been entirely real, Aldo said he was not exactly friends with Conor, either.
“I’m not his friend, though. He can go his way and I can go mine.“
That certainly won’t be the case. With Conor as the reigning featherweight champ and Jose holding the interim strap, it is only a matter of time before he and McGregor meet once again in the octagon.
And when they do, we’ll see how that “friendly relationship” plays out.