The UFC world publicity tour made a pit stop at Toronto’s Eaton Centre on Friday afternoon.
The world tour, which includes seven cities, promotes the featherweight championship showdown between the current champion from Brazil, Jose Aldo, and Irish contender Connor McGregor. The two fighters have been forced to interact with each other throughout the duration of the tour, which has created several entertaining but highly volatile situations.
The conflict between the two fighters came to a boiling point in Toronto when Connor McGregor playfully slapped the champ Aldo in the back during the filming of CTV’s Canada AM.
During the press conference, the tension between both fighters was apparent as the unpredictable and overtly confident McGregor made several attempts to verbally rattle the champion. At press conferences throughout the tour, the contender has tried to challenge the physical toughness and drive of the current champion.
Fans at the Eaton’s Centre were divided between McGregor and Aldo. The mall swarmed with diehard fans waving flags showing loyalty to both fighters.
The champion, who won the first featherweight belt in the Air Canada Centre, felt a strong sense of support from his Toronto fans.
“I only have good memories of this place,” Aldo said in the UFC’s video blog. “This is where I became a champion.”
McGregor’s fan base has continued to grow, as the contender, who has only five UFC fights, has become the new face of the UFC. His emergence as the most marketable fighter on the roster is based on his skillset in the Octagon, as well as his colourful personality outside of it.
McGregor, who has finished four of his five opponents in the UFC octagon, discussed Aldo’s lack of finishes during his rain as the undisputed featherweight champion of the world.
“He is a decision machine, he has 25 minutes to run,” McGregor said. “Twenty-five minutes to hide that battle-worn chin and nobody can hide that chin from me.”
The fight is to be held on July 11 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas Nevada. The matchup between Aldo and McGregor is one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history, hence the massive publicity tour promoting the fight.
Hopefully they can save the fisticuffs for the octagon.