Conor McGregor v Jose Aldo
December 12, 2015
UFC 194 was a date every MMA fan was waiting for. Conor McGregor was to fight Jose Aldo in their long-awaited UFC Featherweight Championship unification bout. The fight would take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 12th. In the pre-fight build up, McGregor made constant reference to Aldo pulling out from the fight, as with many other fighters he was due to fight. McGregor arrogantly taunted the press, suggesting every fighter out there should prepare for this fight as he believed Aldo wouldn’t show up.
Both McGregor and Aldo achieved the stipulated weight limit of 145 pounds, making the bout official in front of a raucous 9,000 spectators. As expected, when the customary stare down took place, both men needed to be separated from one another, indicating the fight ahead would be explosive.
The fight was not only going to be explosive, but it also broke all records, netting over $10,000,000. Fight fans from all over the world were desperately trying to buy tickets and subscribe to Pay Per View channels. As the fight drew near, McGregor continued his onslaught of slanderous comments, asking if anyone had seen Aldo, perhaps he had nipped out to catch a bus back home. Aldo however, just smiled and told McGregor, “don’t worry, I am coming there to take all you have away from you!”
On the night you could cut the atmosphere with a knife, it was just an electrical storm waiting to explode. When both men met in the centre of the octagon, referee John McCarthy’s gave his instructions. As they received their instructions, Aldo refused to make eye-contact with McGregor, as per his usual pre-fight tradition. When asked if they wanted to touch glove both fighters turned away from each other and walked back to their corner, it was clear there was no love lost in this encounter.
With the fight underway, McGregor struck out first, just missing Aldo. Aldo replied with his own shot, but as with McGregor, he failed to hit the target. Aldo continued to press forward, feinting a right cross in an attempt to connect with a left hook. But as Aldo attempted this combination, McGregor stepped back and countered with his own left hook. McGregor’s power, combined with Aldo’s forward momentum, caused the shot to drop Aldo to the canvas. After delivering two additional hammer fists to the grounded Aldo, who was in not fit state to defend himself, John McCarthy halted the bout. The fight lasted 13 seconds, the fastest finish in any UFC title bout, cementing Conor McGregor as only the second undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion in history. On a record-breaking fifth consecutive occasion, McGregor was made the winner of the “Performance of the Night” bonus.
Following the victory, McGregor told the media “He’s a phenomenal warrior and a phenomenal champion, he deserved to go a little bit longer. I didn’t need to use any real power, just precision, no speed, just timing. That’s all it takes, especially when you have my left hand. Nothing can take that left hand.”
Aldo had his eighteen win streak snapped away from him in the blink of an eye. When interviewed by the media he said “I threw a punch and he came back with another cross and that was it, I think we need a rematch, it wasn’t a fight.”
The win sealed McGregor’s seventh straight UFC win, fifteen overall. Now he will need to take that explosive power and die hard attitude into the ring when he faces a whole different level of fighter as Mayweather comes out of retirement once more on August 26th. Do you think McGregor the younger man has what it takes to deal with Mayweather’s experience and class? Many think this time McGregor has bitten off far more than he can chew and that Mayweather will simply play with him like a toy. That is until he gets bored and decides he has had enough playing and finishes the job off. Others think it is Mayweather who is the one kidding himself, fighting a much younger man who is full of power and speed and one hundred percent up for the fight.