John Kavanagh admits he is still ‘obsessed’ with Jose Aldo and ‘regrets’ how Conor McGregor’s 13-second knockout at UFC 194 unfolded.
The Brazilian is without doubt one of the greatest featherweights in UFC history, having enjoyed tremendous success initially at WEC.
McGregor shocked the world in 13 seconds against Aldo to become UFC featherweight championGetty Images – Getty
However, his decade-long unbeaten reign at the top of the pound-for-pound list and as champion of the 145lbs division was brought to a crashing end when McGregor met him in 2015.
‘The Notorious’ systematically broke down Aldo over the course of nearly two years with his relentless psychological warfare and verbal attacks riling up the champion and causing him to charge out.
McGregor, then at the peak of his powers, simply threw a counter left hook whilst moving backwards to knock Aldo out in just 13 seconds and propel himself towards superstardom.
Despite initially struggling to cope with the loss, Aldo is now ranked third in the bantamweight rankings and has reinvented himself at the age of 35 – much to the satisfaction of Kavanagh.
John Kavanagh has taken Conor McGregor to the pinnacleSportsfile – Getty
He told MMA Fighting: “I’m sure I spoke about it a lot at the time, but going back, I was a massive WEC fan.
“And if you’re a WEC fan, you’re obsessed with Aldo. Just the way he — he was the first one that I really saw, a striking-based MMA guy who just dismantled grapplers.
“So I was trying to learn a lot from what he did. And even going back further than that, his amazing coach ‘Dede’ [Andre Pederneiras], I watched him back in the Pride days.”
Kavanagh added: “So there was nobody who was a bigger fan of that team, and Aldo specifically, than me.
Kavanagh’s reaction to McGregor’s 13-second KO says it allUFC
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“And in the lead up to that [UFC 194] fight, I had many sleepless nights looking at those leg kicks and his takedown defence and his speed and his technique and his experience.
“And I somewhat regretted how the fight went, because I would have loved to see the clash of styles and some more exchanges.”