After the shock defeat of MMA’s biggest star, Ronda Rousey, against Holly Holm last weekend at UFC 193, here’s an early preview Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo at UFC 194.
Set to take place on 12 December at UFC 194, this fight for the UFC featherweight title is one of the most anticipated fights of the year. Previously scheduled for July, the fight was postponed after Aldo – the division’s only ever champion – suffered a rib injury in training the week before the fight. Not to disappoint McGregor, the UFC offered him a chance at an ‘interim’ title against Chad Mendes at UFC 189 – a fight he won in the second round by TKO.
With the fight now less than a month away it’s time to finally find out who the best featherweight fighter in the UFC really is.
The build-up before UFC 189 saw a considerable amount of trash talk and a build in animosity between the fighters. This animosity has only grown with McGregor, famous for his trash talk, stating recently in an interview with GQ Magazine:
“I have beaten him already. He is dead. Look at his body language…His body is weak and his mind is weaker. I can smell the lack of confidence. If the mind is not in it, the body won’t follow. He cannot beat me.”
However, Aldo’s record speaks for itself – having only lost one professional fight in his career – back in 2005! Due to this he has the longest winning streak in UFC history – 15 fights in a row. Simply put, the Brazilian is a brilliant well rounded fighter. With a background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu his ground game is superb, however, his stand-up also cannot be ignored – having the most KOs in UFC history. Aldo’s leg kicks are particularly devastating having defeated Urijah Faber, Ricardo Lamas and Frankie Edgar with them – McGregor’s short fight stance may not be able to cope. Aldo’s takedown defence is also phenomenal – defending 91% of takedown attempts against him. In short, there is a reason the UFC featherweight title has only ever been in his hands.
McGregor, until recently, has been accused of bark without much bite. His confidence (to some arrogance) had manged to talk his way into a championship fight at UFC 189 without him facing any significant opposition. When Aldo pulled out due to injury, his victory over Mendez put many of the doubters in their place, proving that McGregor could not only stand up against, but defeat, world class opposition. The Irishman has won all six of his fights in the UFC – his last professional loss was in a Cage Warriors bout against Joseph Duffy back in 2010. His sometimes flashy, stand-up fight style has won him most of his professional fights, winning by KO or TKO in 15 out of his 17 professional wins. It’s in McGregor’s best interest to keep the fight standing up, however, if it does go to the ground he also has a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to fall back on.
McGregor is two years younger and two inches taller than Aldo which might provide him with a bit more of an edge in terms of reach and energy. However, Aldo usually weighs in heavier than McGregor by nearly 4 kg meaning his strikes could pack more force. Essentially, until this fight happens it’s difficult to call.
Due to Aldo’s significant history in defending the title he’s likely to do well. However, McGregor’s trash talk and good winning record could lead to him being booked as the favourite for this end of year bout. If McGregor wins it is likely to be by KO or TKO. Aldo’s winning method is harder to predict as he’s well versed in winning with both striking and grappling.
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