Regardless if he wins or not in his bout against Jose Aldo, Conor McGregor is guaranteed to be the biggest draw in MMA after UFC 194.
A couple of hours from now, we’ll be witnessing the long-awaited fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo. Two of MMA’s most dominant fighters in their division will face each other in the octagon for the first time. As the interim champion, McGregor is out to prove he’s the best. On the other hand, Aldo is out to prove his Irish adversary wrong.
— #UFC194 (@ufc) December 11, 2015
Make no mistake, UFC 194 is a loaded promotion. It features a Weidman versus Rockhold and an explosive Souza versus Yoel main card. Despite these match-ups though, expect all eyes to be trained at Aldo and McGregor. So what can we expect from these two then?
A Battle of Styles
Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo are undeniably on a different level than their contemporaries. They also sport contrasting yet similar fighting styles. McGregor is the more unconventional fighter who’ll constantly move forward with his dangerous striking. He pressures opponents into making mistakes which he then counters with his powerful left straight. Against Aldo, he’ll most likely try to push the action early by pressuring the champion to trade blows.
Jose Aldo is the more rounded fighter of the two and has the tools to win on the ground or standing up. He has a background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but has been known primarily as a striker (like his opponent). Aldo will undoubtedly take up McGregor’s challenge to stand up and trade strikes. He’ll likely try to slow down McGregor’s advances using his leg kicks first. We can then expect him to use his footwork and head movement to duck the Irishman’s bombs. .
Personalities at Odds
— Nightline (@Nightline) December 11, 2015
In terms of their personalities, Aldo and Conor McGregor couldn’t be any more different. The interim champion is brash and talks trash a lot. However, he also backs up his talk with results. Remember that Chad Mendes fight? He said that he’d knock down Mendes in the second round and proceeded to do just that.
Unlike McGregor, Jose Aldo is more reserved and serious. He’s arguably the most talented featherweight in all of MMA but he just doesn’t get people hyped up for his bouts. Fight fans want charismatic champions and the stoic Aldo just isn’t that kind of champion.
No Love Lost
McGregor has been saying for a long time that Aldo will lose against him. He has even made it his personal goal to give the undefeated Brazilian his first defeat in ten years. What sets him apart from other fighters with the same opinion though is that he’ll always say what’s on his mind.
Last time Jose Aldo lost a fight: Nov. 26, 2005. UFC didn't even have a featherweight division until 2010.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 12, 2015
For his part, Aldo has tried to ignore the Irishman’s taunts and verbal jabs with little success. There have even bee instances where Aldo got visibly irritated at McGregor’s verbal sparring. This is a complete turnaround from his usually cool demeanor.
Conor McGregor Is MMA’s Most Marketable Fighter
Nobody can hype up a fight or an event like Conor McGregor. His confidence in his fighting skills is sky high right now and this is very evident in his fights. Because of what he says, people either want to see him win or they want him to lose. Regardless of the outcome of his fights though, people always feel like they got their money’s worth.
— Monster Energy (@MonsterEnergy) December 12, 2015
For this reason, Conor McGregor will still end up winning even if he does lose to Jose Aldo at UFC 194. With Ronda Rousey gone, he’s currently the UFC’s most marketable fighter. His manager, Audie Attar, has even gone on record to say that he has projects lined up in Hollywood. Of course, a win against Aldo will undoubtedly catapult McGregor to Mayweather-like superstardom. Considering the fact that the Brazilian is moving up to lightweight, this might be his only chance to prove that he is the best featherweight in the UFC.