With all this blatant hype building during the UFC world tour series featuring Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo (obviously for money, generating talking heads for UFC 189 on July 11th in Las Vegas), I’m becoming more and more excited for their featherweight title fight. Yes, it’s a circus; yes, it’s a veritable comedy. That’s why it’s amusing and compelling. Hyping fights has been going on since the late 1800s.
Even without the shit talk, this is an extraordinarily compelling fight. Jose Aldo hasn’t fought a guy who’s primarily a striker since Mark Hominick. McGregor brings so many things to the table that other challengers to Aldo’s featherweight title never have. For the first time that I can think of, Aldo is being matched up against somebody significantly bigger than him in McGregor. Outside of leg kicking McGregor to hell and winning by outpointing him, Aldo is going to have a difficult time compensating for his inferior size and strength.
Everybody likes to bitch about McGregor ‘not facing anybody’ in his leadup to a featherweight title shot vs. Aldo. Well, who did Chris Weidman face before Anderson Silva? Mark f’n Munoz? Weidman defeated Silva twice within six months and toyed with Lyoto Machida (sans Machida going on a little striking spree in the 4th and 5th rounds of that fight) last July. (And, next month, in May, Weidman will defeat Vitor Belfort). Who did Jon Jones beat of merit in the leadup to his light heavyweight title fight with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua?
People who engage in the “who’d they beat?!” and “MMA math”-esque arguments aren’t interested in dialogue or logic. Styles make fights.