Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar fought for the UFC featherweight title at UFC 156, where they seemed to develop a mutual respect after engaging in a five-round war. When Aldo and Edgar came face to face as opponents again in the lead-up to UFC 200, neither fighter was very vocal about his opponent, each deciding to focus on his own performance.
But as we get closer and closer to the historic event, the gloves are starting to come off.
Last week, Edgar turned up the heat on Aldo in talking to our own Damon Martin, saying that Aldo's trash talk to Conor McGregor was "out of character" and denying Aldo's claim that he beat Edgar with "only my left arm" during their first meeting.
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"When he says he had one arm -- we all know the truth that Aldo does not fight when he's injured," Edgar said.
"We were supposed to fight earlier and he had a little boo-boo on his foot from a motorcycle accident and we had to reschedule. I highly doubt he's ever fought injured. If he did, he must fight injured all the time because how much does this guy pull out of fights?"
Well, Aldo has heard the criticism, and told reporters in Brazil during a UFC 200 media day that Edgar shouldn't worry, he'll be ready come July 9.
"You have to know if you're injured or not before talking," Aldo said, per MMAFighting's Guilherme Cruz. "I couldn't care less what he says or doesn't say. I know I'm training hard here. I will be in great shape in the fight. I'm hungry to win this fight. There was no fight last time (against McGregor), so we'll see.
"I couldn't care less. F--k him. I don't care. I care about my gym and my training. We'll settle that face to face."
In the midst of Edgar's comments, rumors began to swirl that Aldo was, indeed, injured and had to pull out of UFC 200. But Aldo refuted the reports with a statement of his own.
It's no secret, however, that Aldo has been bitten by the injury bug since joining the UFC in 2010. He's fought just six times over the past four years, and most notably, dropped out of the biggest fight of his career at UFC 189, just a week before he was to face McGregor.
Aldo is one of the UFC's best fighters, but he'll need to show up, healthy, at UFC 200 and probably a couple more times, if he ever wants to shed the "often-injured" tag applied to him by fans and fighters.