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Jose Aldo compares Conor McGregor’s KO punch to rare ‘comet,’ has confidence in UFC 200 rematch with Frankie Edgar

Conor McGregor, left, knocked out Jose Aldo with his first punch at UFC 194 in Las Vegas to claim the featherweight title on Dec. 12.

Conor McGregor, left, knocked out Jose Aldo with his first punch at UFC 194 in Las Vegas to claim the featherweight title on Dec. 12.

(John Locher / Associated Press)
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What some see as a destructive blow to his fighting future Jose Aldo dismisses as “a lucky shot.”

In interpreted comments made in Portuguese, Brazil’s Aldo, a former longtime Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight champion, spoke to The Times Friday from his home country, explaining that his 13-second December defeat to Conor McGregor is “in the past” and he’s “moving forward,” confident of winning a July 9 UFC 200 rematch with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

McGregor’s punch to the jaw ended Aldo’s 10-year unbeaten streak.

Instead of returning to defend his featherweight belt against Aldo or Edgar, McGregor opted to attempt to avenge his March 5 loss to Nate Diaz in a non-title welterweight fight that will be the UFC 200 main event at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Aldo has been assigned the UFC-designated “interim” featherweight title fight against former lightweight champion Edgar, meaning McGregor has to fight the winner after Diaz or the belt becomes the winner’s.

“I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Aldo said when asked if he expects McGregor to return to featherweight. “My opinion is his wings need to be a little bit clipped and he needs to be put in his place. It gets to a point where [fighters can] get to a downhill slope and right now I think that’s what’s happening. I think he’s going to lose once again this fight and then he’s going to have to come and fight me.”

On Twitter Aldo chided McGregor’s second-round submission loss to Diaz, posting recently, “Being a true champion is being able to bounce back … being able to deal with adversity and come back stronger.”

He said Friday, “It was a lucky shot [McGregor] connected. It’s his merit that it connected. But that shot was like one of those comets that comes around every 1,000 years. He’s not going to be able to do that again.”

Aldo (25-2) defeated Edgar by unanimous decision in February 2013 and takes confidence from the lessons learned in that meeting, even as Edgar (19-4-1) is boosted by five consecutive victories since his Aldo defeat.

“I’m ready to fight again,” said Aldo, who plans to train in Brazil. “I don’t think [recent fight history] makes any difference at all. I already know Frankie. His strong points, his weaknesses.

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“I don’t think I lost any of those rounds [in the first Edgar fight]. I won and I know what I’ve got to do. … I’m way better than he is on the striking end, and even if he might have a little advantage on the wrestling end, it’s not even that big of a difference. Overall, I’m more of a complete fighter.”

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