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Jose Aldo fires back at Khabib, confirms ‘Eagle’ turned down 2016 UFC interim title fight

UFC 254: Press Conference Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, didn’t make it onto Jose Aldo’s Christmas list after “The Eagle” commented on the state of the former Featherweight champion’s combat career.

“Junior” has turned things around after three straight losses by earning back-to-back victories over Pedro Munhoz and Marlon Vera. In Khabib’s eyes, however, his current run isn’t anything to brag about because of the level of competition.

Now, the former 145-pound kingpin is firing back at “The Eagle,” suggesting that now that he is retired he is looking to get some attention by doing a lot of talking.

“He’s saying you can’t peak again, but we just saw an example with Glover [Teixeira], who got there, lost, and got there again at age 42 and won [the UFC title], completely dominated the champion, took him down and submitted him,” Aldo said in a recent interview with MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocacao Franca (via MMA Fighting).

“[Israel] Adesanya himself fought [Jan Blachowicz] for five rounds, a pretty boring fight, two high-level athletes, and Glover, who’s older than me [won]. Sometimes Khabib talks too much. He’s not doing much these days, he’s retired, so he’s looking for [attention] that way.”

Aldo went on to confirm that Khabib turned down the chance to face him in 2016 for the interim Lightweight title, a statement he wouldn’t exactly confirm five years ago.

“I was traveling when [my coach] ‘Dede’ [Pederneiras] called me,” Aldo said. “The [UFC] had offered me this fight and we took it. I said, ‘What? I want that, I’m in.’ I respect everybody, but that opportunity … I was the featherweight champion, and [Nurmagomedov] didn’t think it was a good [idea]. I don’t know if he was expecting to fight somebody else, I don’t know what he was thinking at the time. I think it could have been a great fight,” he concluded.

While Khabib never confirmed or denied that he was offered an interim title fight against Aldo, he did respond to Aldo when news of the alleged offer surfaced five years ago by saying he doesn’t “bully the little” and was more interested in facing Tony Ferguson for the belt instead of him.

Of course, we know how that turned out.