When it all comes to an end in the early hours of Sunday morning, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor are going to show each other some massive respect. Provided both are still standing, there's going to be a congratulations for the victor and a commiserations for the vanquished.
For all the hype and all the talk, McGregor and Aldo respect the fight game. The talk sells the fights but when it comes down to it they're mixed martial artists who have learned the ins and outs of their respective disciplines. That includes respect for one's opponent.
Last night's media obligations gave us a chance to see both fighters face to face for the first time this week and it was rather different to how we've seen these face-offs go in the past. Perhaps the weight-cut is taking its toll but there was no belt stealing or antics of such nature. There was two fighters at the top of their game going face to face and then showing each other respect with a courteous nod. It was slight but it was nonetheless telling.
We're sure to get some more of the McGregor we know and love at the weigh-ins on Friday but things are getting serious now. The fight has been sold, it's time to really get down to business.
A nice moment that was made even better by Dana White's reaction.
GIF via /r/mma