The Brazilian was the main man of the featherweight division, having a decade-long unbeaten record. McGregor had exploded onto the scene in 2013 and earned himself a shot at the title in 2015.
The much-anticipated bout between Aldo and McGregor was scheduled for UFC 189 on July 11 and promotion went into overdrive.
A world tour, where the two men appeared to promote the clash in a number of cities, took place, with McGregor frequently getting under the Brazilian’s skin as they traded jibes.
Last week, the original promotional video has appeared on Twitter and the footage is electric.
Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo fight trailer
Jay-Z’s ‘No Church in the Wild’ is the perfect soundtrack as the iconic venue of Las Vegas is shown, with the two protagonists, suited and booted, striding towards each other looking lean and mean, Aldo carrying his championship belt.
The footage then merges into the men facing each other ready for action, building the anticipation to fever pitch.
Video: McGregor vs Aldo trailer
Years later, it still gets the hairs on the back of the neck standing and has received a positive reaction from fans.
McGregor & Aldo historical events
Unfortunately, a rib injury to Aldo meant that the fight didn’t happen as scheduled in July and McGregor took an interim bout against Chad Mendes instead. However, a new date was set and on December 12 at UFC 194, the fight finally happened.
“Notorious” claimed the title with an outrageous 13-second victory and afterwards earned the respect of Aldo by hailing him as a great champion and offering him a rematch.
“There was a lot of stuff said…. what I said was ‘Look, we can go again. Although it’s a nice feeling to get that knockout, it’s kind of not nice as well.
“You can see what’s happening around and you don’t want to see the only (featherweight) champion in the company’s history going out like that.
“I had a little moment where I felt sorry for Jose. It’s been a long road and I appreciate that he showed up here and made the journey because I’ve no doubt that there were options to pull out like the last time but this time he stuck around.”
In recent years, McGregor and Aldo have struck up a friendship and shown support for each other based on respect.
Jose Aldo retires from UFC
This week, Aldo has informed UFC that he is to retire. MMA Junkie confirmed the news on Sunday after many had anticipated the news over the last few weeks.
The “King of Rio” leaves MMA with a 21-7 UFC record and one of the longest honours lists in the promotion’s history. He is a former two-time featherweight champion, former interim champion and former WEC champion. His seven successful UFC featherweight title defences rank at number 1 on the all-time list. He is also a six-time performance bonus winner.
Since the news has broken, a number of MMA legends have paid tribute.
Darren Elkins said: “Legendary career,” while Mackenzie Dern commented: “Legend! Thanks for all the amazing fights!”
However, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani possibly summed things up best, tweeting: “Jose Aldo’s greatest legacy, IMO, aren’t the title defences, the wins or the KOs. It’s that he didn’t let the 2015 loss to McGregor define him……many would have let that moment break them. Not Aldo. He worked his way back & even found success in 2 weight classes. Absolute legend.”