5 Reasons Jose Aldo Will Beat Conor McGregor

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In some people’s minds, Conor McGregor is supposed to beat UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo at UFC 194 on Dec. 12.

In some people’s minds, the Irishman’s interim billing is a temporary ploy by the UFC before he settles in and dethrones the only 145-pound titleholder in promotional history.

Others believe those notion’s to be nothing more than glorified hogwash, as the UFC attempts to build a rivalry in a division previously lacking transcendent stars.

Whichever belief you piggy back, there’s no disputing that the organization has perfected their marketing efforts leading up to this long-awaited unification bout.

Alongside the latter conviction of how this fight will actually play out, we dive deep into the prediction tank and discuss five reasons why The Brazilian will nix McGregor’s historic rise to prominence.

UFC 179: Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo Octagon Interviews - YouTubeReason 1: Pressure

Few fighters can withstand the pressure of fighting for a UFC championship belt. We’ve seen some of the best athletes in the sport flop on arrival when presented with such adversity.

We’ve also seen fighters rise to the occasion and subdue the mental strain like they were smothering icing on a cake. But in this instance, McGregor has built his entire UFC stock around the notion that he’ll undoubtedly defeat Aldo.

While “The Notorious” presents the champ with tools he has never been forced to overcome, the Brazilian has also fought the very best in the world his entire promotional tenure. This includes the likes of Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian, and Chad Mendes, twice.

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For that, Aldo’s experience gives him an advantage when we start discussing the effect that pressure could ultimately have on this bout.

If Aldo loses, people will point out the historic UFC run by McGregor and accept the change of title. But if McGregor loses to Aldo, the everlasting outlook will focus on the Irishman’s fraudulent promises of becoming king (similar to Ronda Rousey building her legacy around perfection).

Conor McGregor 6Reason 2: McGregor’s Overconfidence

Self confidence only goes so far in this sport. At some point, skill must take over.

Now while McGregor is brimming with talent on his feet, his unwavering credence that he can swiftly snuff Aldo could easily be taken as brash ignorance. So much so, that the interim champ’s willingness to treat the Brazilian like a playground pushover could land him in serious trouble.

We saw hints towards this in McGregor’s fight with Mendes back at UFC 189. Much like he has done in previous UFC outings, the confident Irishman allowed a smaller, one-dimensional fighter to land big power shots. His Diaz-like approach to getting in the head of an opponent presented opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been there.

McGregor ultimately absorbed the damage implemented by “Money,” specifically when he was on his back, but Aldo is a completely different animal inside of the cage. Dangling a juicy steak in front of the champ is subject to beheading.

frankie edgarReason 3: Speed

McGregor is a big featherweight. He has been known to walk around at about 170 pounds and has even gone as far as issuing warning to UFC welterweights that he’s coming.

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Needless to say, his size carries into the cage.

Now while the Irishman’s lean frame and timely footwork allow him to land big shots with fluidity, he isn’t the quickest of fighters. Luckily for McGregor, the UFC has mostly pitted him against stocky strikers who don’t necessarily move well, such as Mendes, Dennis Siver, Diego Brandao, and Marcus Brimage.

Rising contender Max Holloway has really been the only striker quick enough to exchange with “The Notorious”, which resulted in McGregor’s only decision victory of his 20-fight professional career.

Because of this track record, McGregor may be surprised at how fast Aldo operates. His hand speed, forward moving combinations, and overall ability to shift levels could undermine everything the interim champ aims to accomplish.

MMA: UFC 169-Aldo vs LamasReason 4. Leg Kicks

It seems simple enough, and for Aldo it usually is.

As the owner of arguably the most vicious kicks outside of a Jean-Claude Van Damme ’90s movie, the Brazilian bruiser is infamous for inflicting an absurd amount of damage to the legs of his opponent (most famously turning Urijah Faber’s limbs into minced meat). Even despite heavy hands and athletic superiority, this may very well be the best part of the champ’s growing arsenal.

Unfortunately for McGregor, leg kicks are going to play a major role early on in the fight. Not only does the Irishman fight wide-stanced with his lead foot far in front, but he has two major injuries to his ACL over the past few years. McGregor would be better to avoid sending an open invitation for leg kicks, but it’s unlikely that he’ll gameplan defensively.

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For Aldo, landing early is only going to build his chances of knocking McGregor off keel. The 27-year-old relies so heavily on his ability to close distances in fashion, so cutting one leg out from underneath him could change the fight entirely.

It’s one of those things that you know is coming, but can’t stop.

Reason 5: Championship Experience

Much can be said about McGregor’s torrid run through the featherweight division, but despite recent dominance and a track record for finishing fights early, the Irish sensation has never seen championship rounds.

In fact, the only time he’s ever seen a third round is when Holloway fought him to a decision back at UFC Fight Night 26. It should be noted that Holloway has never been finished by strikes, but McGregor’s abilities would lead you to believe he could have pulled it off.

Particularly for his upcoming bout with Aldo, McGregor could be in for a world of hurt if he doesn’t finish the champ early. Just look at how much punishment he took in just 10 minutes opposite Mendes, who is less explosive offensively than Aldo and was fighting on two weeks notice.

If Aldo can intelligently avoid McGegor’s initial onslaughts than he has a good chance to run away with a decision. “The Notorious” says he can go all day, but it’s a different story when the best featherweight in the world is landing shots for 25-straight minutes.

The longer the fight, the better chances of Aldo winning.