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New leaf? Conor McGregor 'excited' to see Jose Aldo's bantamweight debut as he praises former foe

New leaf? Conor McGregor 'excited' to see Jose Aldo's bantamweight debut as he praises former foe
Conor McGregor says he is anticipating former rival Jose Aldo's 135lb debut in spite of several members of the mixed martial arts community expressing their concern at photographs which show the Brazilian fighter looking gaunt.

Aldo will face compatriot Marlon Moraes in a featured bout on the main card of this month's bumper UFC 245 event in Las Vegas in what will be his first fight at bantamweight following a career in which he reached the top of the mountain at 145lbs. 

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McGregor, the man who ended Aldo's decade of dominance in the featherweight fold with a now legendary 13-second, one-punch knockout blow in late 2015, has shown support for his former foe following a slew of comments from fighters and analysts alike in which they express concern at Aldo's decision to drop down a division.

Reports suggest that Aldo still has around 16lbs to cut ahead of the December 14 tussle with former title contender Moraes but McGregor remains unconcerned and doesn't think that the legendary fighter is biting off more than he can chew.

"The first one is very troubling. Still don’t understand why Aldo is doing this," ESPN's Ariel Helwani tweeted in relation to the training photographs, prompting McGregor to spring to his former opponent's defence.

"I disagree here. He looks more than on top of it in my experienced opinion," the Dubliner wrote back.

"Well trimmed in advance, and naturally a lighter man now. This can only be done over a long length of time and with complete dedication. Respect!"

"Fair enough. Respect," Helwani replied. "But, was it truly necessary at this stage in his career?

"What can be gained from a cut like this at this point? Prior to his last fight, a loss to the man who is fighting for the belt next week, he looked great in two straight wins/finishes."

For McGregor, the answer is a simple one.

"[What can be gained is] the rejuvenation of your career with fresh goals and targets! The prestige of being a UFC world champion in two weight divisions!

"The feeling of excitement you will give the fans with all the new potential match-ups that can be made!

"All great and valid reasons!"

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McGregor, of course, is no stranger to weight cuts having competed in three separate weight divisions in his UFC run thus far, becoming champion in two of them.

His next fight will come in the welterweight division in a keenly-anticipated fight opposite Donald Cerrone in January.