UFC President Dana White was forced to step between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor during the Boston leg of their UFC 189 promotional tour.
As highlighted by the organisation's Instagram feed, White was on hand to intervene when the pair engaged in yet another intense staredown:
Although we've got months to wait until the pair face each other on July 11, this clash is the latest in a heated trot around the globe.
McGregor loves to engage in gamesmanship before fights and is doing nothing differently to what we've previously seen, but Aldo's willingness to react goes against his usually calm character. It certainly spices things up and underlines McGregor's ability to frustrate opponents long before they step into the Octagon.
As reported by MMAjunkie, the duo are still scheduled to complete media days in New York, Toronto, London and Dublin. McGregor's following in his native Ireland and in the United Kingdom is fierce—not to mention growing rapidly—so he can only be expected to ramp up the mind games.
White believes the Las Vegas clash deserves to be recognised as one of the most anticipated of the year, per UFC Tonight:
It certainly ranks among the company's most expensive:
Shaheen Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting reported McGregor's most prominent comments from the Boston schedule. As usual, the Irishman is in no uncertain terms that his presence has propelled the featherweight roster up the billing:
McGregor also seemingly has an unending path of vengeance set out in front of him:
Turning to Aldo, McGregor believes the Brazilian's run of victories can be considered lucky:
Aldo fired back, however:
Out of Aldo's seven UFC victories, five have come via unanimous decision. This stretches back to his early wins over Mark Hominick and Kenny Florian in 2011. He hasn't won by knockout/TKO since 2013, when he beat Chan Sung Jung during an exchange of punches that saw The Korean Zombie's right shoulder separate at the most untimely of moments.
Jung opted to stand in front of Aldo that day, stopping him from launching a tirade of signature leg kicks. McGregor is gutsy enough and brave enough to do the same, particularly as four of his five UFC victories have ended without the need for a decision.
The 26-year-old possesses a creative, unpredictable stand-up game and is more than willing to trade even if it puts him in danger. We saw this against Dennis Siver, who couldn't cope with his variation of body kicks and combinations. He even tried a spinning wheel kick at the beginning of the fight, laying his cards on the table and telling Siver to deal with them.
Title fights become most interesting when the challenger obviously rattles the champion. As we saw with Aldo's claims McGregor is taking performance-enhancing drugs—"He's the one that's taking substances," reported by Matt Erickson and Rick Lee of MMAjunkie—Aldo is trying to stop his opponent gaining an advantage by talking big before the fight.
The anticipation is palpable already, particularly as McGregor's self-belief is grounded in ability and talent. He grabs attention every time he steps in front of the camera, be it for a staredown or fight. Aldo obviously represents the toughest challenge of his career, but as the long-awaited battle inches closer, McGregor is yet to give an inch.