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23rd Aug 2016

Jose Aldo’s head coach was praying for Conor McGregor’s hand to be raised at UFC 202

Rooting for the enemy

Darragh Murphy

After all that Conor McGregor has said about Jose Aldo’s camp, you might have thought that Nova Uniao head coach Andre Pederneiras would have been hoping to see him get his ass handed to him at UFC 202.

But Pederneiras has revealed that he was actually rooting for the Irishman in his rematch with Diaz on Saturday.

Pederneiras believed that a victory for ‘The Notorious’ over his Stockton rival would pave the way for Aldo to get his hands on McGregor in a sequel to their initial meeting at UFC 194 last December.

“I prayed for him [McGregor] to win.” Pederneiras said during an interview on the MMA Hour.

UFC 202: Diaz v McGregor 2

“Now he needs to come back to his division and give Aldo the rematch. I don’t understand why he wants another fight with Nate and doesn’t want to give Aldo a new chance.

“I can’t understand him. Now he’s saying he might go to lightweight. No way, he needs to go back to featherweight and give Aldo the rematch. He earned it.”

UFC 200: Tate v Nunes

Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200 and immediately acknowledged the presence of McGregor in the crowd.

UFC president Dana White has insisted that McGregor vs. Aldo II is one of two options on the table for the Dubliner, with the other being a lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez, and McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh has made no secret about which option he would prefer.

“I really don’t see the point [of returning to featherweight], with all due respect to the 145 lbs guys,” Kavanagh said on the same show. “Especially after that fight with Nate, what are they going to do to him?

Conor McGregor with John Kavanagh between rounds 20/8/2016

“I just think anyone he faces at that weight class, it’s almost like he’s cheating with the amount of power he has. He can make the weight, don’t get me wrong on that. And he might do it just to spite me.

“With [George] Lockhart on board, the 145 lbs he made last December was the easiest one he’s ever done. So it’s definitely in him to do it but he’s just running through people at that weight class.”

Kavanagh would much prefer to see his star fighter claim lightweight gold and defend it against Nate Diaz in Dublin so Aldo’s name is not in his thoughts, at least.

“I think it would be nice for him [McGregor] to be the champion, get the belt at 155 lbs and defend it against Nate… maybe in Croke Park in Dublin,” Kavanagh said.

“I’d push for that. How cool would that be? We went to their enemy territory so let them come over to us this time.”

On the latest GAA Hour we look back at Mayo-Tipperary and chat to Andy Moran about his incredible, never-ending career. Listen below or subscribe here on iTunes.