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Conor McGregor expressed sympathy for Jose Aldo after knocking the Brazilian out just 13 seconds in to the pair’s featherweight title fight.
The bitter rivals met at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night in a battle that few predicted would go anywhere close the five-round distance.
However, perhaps not even the super-confident McGregor believed that the fight would be over so quickly, as the Dubliner blocked a right-hand attack from Aldo and delivered a left-hand blow that saw the Brazilian slump unconscious to the Las Vegas canvas.
Following the contest, McGregor praised his foe, who had boasted an 18-bout unbeaten run stretching back to 2005.
“He’s strong and he’s fast but precision beats power and timing beats speed,” the Irishman said.
“I feel for Jose. He was a phenomenal champion. He deserved to go a little bit longer (but) it would have happened sooner or later.”
Aldo immediately demanded that he and McGregor meet once again in the octagon.
“I threw a punch and he came back with a cross,” said the Manaus-born 29-year-old. “We need a rematch.
“It wasn’t a fight so we need to get back in there.”
McGregor, though, is happy for now to simply enjoy his triumph.
“Mystic Mac strikes again,” said the 27-year-old.
“There are many great fighters, who do great things, but when you combine it all together – the whole fight game – I don’t think there’s anyone who does it better than me.”