Conor McGregor was eyeing Jose Aldo and the UFC featherweight title all the way back in 2013 before his UFC debut.
At UFC 189 in July, mixed martial artists hottest new star Conor McGregor will attempt to dethrone featherweight champion Jose Aldo. It is arguably the most anticipated fight in recent UFC history, and the world tour promoting the fight was thoroughly entertaining.
McGregor’s star is bright and he has risen to prominence in the promotion to earn a title shot rather quickly, which some feel is justified and some feel is too soon.
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McGregor falls into the former category, because he has been eying this fight since 2013. In a documentary titled “The Rise of Conor McGregor” that aired on MTV UK back in 2013, the former Cage Warriors lightweight and featherweight champion fighter was already talking about Jose Aldo.
Towards the end of the 17 minute film, McGregor is talking about his vision and his mental focus.
“It’s 24/7 in my head, I’m always thinking about it, I’m always doing, I don’t do anything else,” McGregor says. “Knowing that I have that kind of mentality, that’s what gives me confidence going in there.
“I’ve already visualized what’s head of me, I’ve already visualized my hands getting wrapped. Walking out to the weigh-ins, walking out to the cage. I can see everything.
“Of course I visualize the belt, that belt is on me 24/7. I’m not going in there to shake no one’s hand, I’m not going in there to be the token Irish guy… I’m going out there to go at people. I’m not afraid.”
At that point in time the interviewer brings up Jose Aldo.
“No,” McGregor said before pausing. “Man I would fight that guy in a heart beat, I would fight any of them in a heart beat. I will go forward and I will go at them.
“There is no opponent, there is no Jose Aldo. Who the f-ck is Jose Aldo? There is no no-one, you’re against yourself.”
It is an interesting comment given what we’ve seen transpire in the UFC over the past several months as the build up for this fight kicks off.
The context of the conversation was about McGregor’s mental focus on the sport being his turning point. He talks about his last fight to Joseph Duffy being a turning point for him and realizing that if his mental game is on point, there is no stopping him.
It certainly helps provide a window into McGregor and his rise, that his mental fortitude and confidence that is free-flowing on the microphone isn’t so much to sell fights as it an integral part of who he is as a fighter.
It is an interesting clip as we look forward to 2013.
Watch the entire documentary:
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