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Jose Aldo is pulling for Conor McGregor in his UFC return this summer against Michael Chandler.

The Brazilian former two-time UFC featherweight champion was once embroiled in a heated feud with McGregor that culminated in their December 2015 fight which McGregor won by KO 13 seconds inside the first round in what was the most seismic shock ever seen in a UFC title bout.

Since then, though, the rivalry between the two champions has receded into a more respectful relationship, with both men periodically issuing words of support to one another — and ahead of Aldo’s return to the organisation at UFC 301 in his home country early next month, he said that he will be keeping a close eye on McGregor’s UFC 303 main event fight with Michael Chandler.

“I always root for the guys, who I fought and the guys who have beat me,” Aldo said to MMA Junkie. “Because that just proves that I lost to the best.”

He added: “I hope that he can go in there and be the Conor of old and be aggressive, and go in there to finish the fight… I expect great things from that fight.”

In the same interview, Aldo also stated that his fight with Jonathan Martinez at UFC 301 in Brazil will be the final fight of his career. It comes close to two years after his most recent mixed martial arts fight opposite Merab Dvalishvili in August 2022 — a defeat that snapped a sequence of three successive wins.

Since then, Aldo has fought twice in professional boxing including a majority draw with former UFC opponent Jeremy Stephens a year ago.