Following a sharp decision win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, interim featherweight champ, Jose Aldo is seeking to avenge his 13 second knockout loss against current champion, Conor McGregor. The question is whether or not the so-called new Jose Aldo can pull it off. Aldo’s defensive improvements were on full display as he managed to use more of his footwork and counter abilities in stifling Frankie Edgar offensive attempts. Aldo’s takedown defense has always been spectacular, which is no surprise, however the way Aldo was able to beat Edgar to the punch and seemingly move away from danger in the process was awe-inspiring. The difference in size and speed between both men was incredibly apparent over the course of 25 minutes and in the end, Edgar was left a bloody mess while Aldo was never in real danger of tasting defeat.
Aldo’s turnaround left many wondering whether or not he could manage to get past Conor McGregor especially considering the lack of power and size advantage against the Irishman. Absent from much of the fight against Edgar was Aldo’s leg kicks, which is probably due to preserving energy, but it’s telling seeing as those same kicks could be significant in keeping McGregor at bay in a potential rematch.
Another interesting display was Aldo’s swollen cheek, which goes to show that even on his best day, Aldo is still human. We’ve already witnessed what a well time power shot could do to Aldo and with emotions likely running high leading to a rematch, one has to wonder where Aldo’s head will be at.
Then there are outside elements that could have a significant effect on the fight including potential injuries to either man. The often injured Jose Aldo will always be a liability when scheduled to fight on a certain date and that is something we have learned to live with. Conor McGregor on the other hand will face a tough task in making the 145 pound limit after fighting two consecutive bouts at the comfortable weight of 170 pounds. McGregor is also recovering from a loss, that saw him get dropped and submitted by Nate Diaz not too long ago. McGregor has a tall task ahead of him in Diaz and could even lose again, which only hurts his chances in fighting Aldo sooner than later. There is no telling how McGregor’s chin will hold up and if he comes out of the fight injury free.
If Aldo is going to be on the sidelines for a lot longer than he hopes, maybe we can see Max Holloway get a crack at the former longtime featherweight king in the meantime. If Holloway can pull off the victory it could set him up for a big rematch payday against McGregor. The featherweight division once again awaits.