'I demand a recount': Conor McGregor hints at Jose Aldo rematch despite 'retirement'
McGregor's 13-second knockout of the Brazilian legend at UFC 194 back in December 2015 saw the Irishman claim the undisputed UFC featherweight world title in a bout that was originally scheduled for UFC 189 earlier that summer.
But a rib injury to the Brazilian saw the bout pushed back, with McGregor instead facing top contender Chad Mendes for the interim title. "The Notorious" was taken down on multiple occasions by the American wrestler, but bounced back to claim a second-round TKO victory to set up the Aldo match.
And, after a build-up that saw McGregor's relentless taunts get under the skin of the usually-stoic Brazilian, the Dubliner took advantage of an uncharacteristically aggressive start from the defending world champion, catching him cold with a perfectly-placed counter left hook that knocked him out long before he hit the canvas.
The knockout was timed at 13 seconds, and remains the fastest finish in a UFC world title fight to this day.
But McGregor posted a series of tweets, making a talking point of something that had never previously been debated, suggesting he may be keen on facing the Brazilian once again.
"I sparked Jose in 12 seconds. I demand a recount," he began.
I sparked Jose in 12 seconds I demand a recount.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 29, 2019
"Highlighting a GIF a fan shared with him, he continued: "Look at this gif closely everyone and watch the clock. Referee Big John steps in at 4.48 seconds of the very first round. That's 12 seconds!
"I demand it [be] corrected before any more talks commence. And yes that's right, I smoked that boy in a gif. Now pass me my whiskey.
"A Proper Twelve second demolition job. The numbers don't lie. Have that changed, I be back in a giffy."
It was 12!Look at this gif closely everyone and watch the clock.Referee Big John steps in at 4.48 seconds of the very first round. That’s 12 seconds!I demand it corrected before anymore talks commence.And yes that’s right, I smoked that boy in a gif.Now pass me my whiskey. https://t.co/AlK5t91gJJ— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 30, 2019
A Proper Twelve second demolition job. The numbers don’t lie. Have that changed, I be back in a giffy.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) March 30, 2019
Fans hoping to see McGregor return will latch on to the "...before any more talks commence" element of those tweets. But it is generally believed that we haven't yet seen the last of the Irishman inside the octagon.
And with McGregor bringing Aldo back into the conversation for the first time since he defeated him four years ago, it adds another potential opponent to the list of possible dance partners should he return later this year.
WHO'S NEXT FOR McGREGOR?
1. MAX HOLLOWAY OR DUSTIN POIRIER
Featherweight champ Holloway is moving up to face lightweight contender Poirier for the interim lightweight title. And depending on how things pan out, McGregor could slot in to face the winner later this summer, with the winner facing Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title later in the year.
2. KHABIB NURMAGOMEDOV
It's the fight McGregor wants the most, and what Conor wants, he's tended to get over the last few years. His 'retirement' may be part of a bigger negotiation to get back into the cage with Khabib later in the year but, with 'The Eagle' not likely to return until the UFC returns to Madison Square Garden (likely to be in November), it's probable that the UFC would want to see McGregor in the cage before then.
3. JOSE ALDO
McGregor's stunning 13-second KO (or 12-second, if McGregor gets his way) of Aldo at UFC 194 shocked the world at the time. A similarly-rapid victory would seem unlikely, with many believing Aldo would fare noticeably better in a rematch. But Aldo has been through some wars since that win and McGregor may see him as being battle-weary - and ripe for another finish.
4. FLOYD MAYWEATHER
It's the most lucrative possibility - and one that you just can't rule out. If Mayweather wants another colossal payday, and if McGregor can get an agreement out of the UFC's new owners Endeavor, a rematch of the richest bout in boxing history isn't out of the question.