Interim UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor has taken yet another jab at reigning champion Jose Aldo ahead of their title unification bout at UFC 194 on Saturday.
McGregor, who has tried to get under Aldo's skin with his mind games and antics, believes that the champion looks “confused” and is being forced to fight rather than wanting to.
"I feel that he feels like he is handcuffed and forced into this," McGregor told reporters. "He doesn't want to be there. He's forced. The man is forced to do this.
"When I look into his eyes, he's confused, he doesn't know where he is. He cannot wait for this to be over."
This is just the latest chapter in the intense rivalry that has formed between the duo since they were scheduled to fight at UFC 189 in July. However, that fight did not go ahead as planned as Aldo pulled out with a rib injury.
Chad Mendes was named as Aldo’s replacement, but McGregor defeated him via TKO in the second round to be crowned the interim champion.
With their highly-anticipated bout just around the corner, McGregor revealed that he has been training vigorously and has never felt better coming into a fight.
"I wasn't lying when I said I had a hell of a lot of adversity to overcome. Here you see me in my prime, no corners cut. I feel good, look good in my face," the Irishman said. "This is the day before weigh-in, the toughest day for a competitor, and I feel Saturday night I will reap the rewards.
"Respect for me is earned through battle. If he shows up, fights with his heart, you have my respect. A man that has ran? I cannot respect a man who has ran, who has evaded. If he stands across from me in the octagon and gives me the exchanges he says he can [I will respect him]."
This will be McGregor’s first fight since beating Mendes in July and the interim champion has made it clear that he would like to fight more often.
"I feel I'm already making [money]. I don't feel like an employee. I feel like a business associate," he said. "A lot of them don't want to fight. I would have had about three more fights by now [if I was in charge of it]. I would love freedom to pick and choose my fights of course – while you're young, fresh and healthy. Stay busy, get in and compete."