There has been endless speculation over the past few months as to what Conor McGregor will decide to do next. It has completely captivated the fighting world (and deservedly so.) Conor is a juggernaut of epic proportions whose fighting ability is matched only by his marketing skills outside of the cage. A talent like that only comes around once or twice in a generation, and that puts him directly in the spotlight. Everyone else comes second. So why should there be any reason to question his choice of competitor? Simply because before Conor ever stepped foot off of the Emerald Isle, Jose Aldo was dominating the best fighters that the Featherweight division had to offer and ever since their one and only meeting, Aldo has been unceremoniously discarded as a forgotten stepping stone leapt over by Conor on his way to bigger and better things.
To better understand how poorly Aldo is being treated, let's first look into the catalog of ridiculous success he has garnered as a fighter. He went undefeated for 10 years and compiled an 18 fight win streak that included 7 consecutive UFC title defenses (4th all time). He went 8-0 with 7 finishes in the WEC, the brutal predecessor of the UFC's Featherweight division. Over that span of time, he fought a “who’s who” of the best that MMA had to offer, including Frankie Edgar, Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Kenny Florian, Cub Swanson, Chad Mendez (twice), and Ricardo Lamas, and became the only Featherweight champion in the UFC’s history. Yet this only scratches the surface of his greatness. If we talked about fighting stats such as significant strikes and takedown defense, I could fill three pages.
And then came Conor McGregor on December 12th, 2015, with the 13 seconds that would rewrite UFC history books.
So why, after all that Aldo has accomplished, has he not been given the opportunity to avenge his only UFC loss? (His first in 10 years, by the way.) I'm not sure I have a good answer. While it’s true that he lost, I can't even remember a time in which a former champ as great as Aldo was not given an opportunity or even the consideration of a rematch. Especially after what could be described as a lucky KO loss. Yet he continues to be pushed aside as a non-contender, while Conor has gone on to fight, lose, have an automatic rematch in a non-title fight, and then go up a weight class to win another title. It seems insane. Don't get me wrong, the ride has been fantastic, and most of all extremely profitable to the powers that be, but at what expense? I say the integrity of the UFC.
Never before in the history of professional fighting has a champion of such stature been pushed aside like Jose Aldo. It is a travesty of enormous magnitude that the Conor McGregor "hype machine” has taken center stage over allowing someone who has given so much of himself to fight fans and the UFC organization an opportunity to restore his legacy. But it has. And it is. Every fight card announcement that goes by without Aldo vs. McGregor 2 as the main event just takes us one step closer to the circus that the UFC is becoming, and one step further away from a true fight organization and unfortunately, the giant elephant in the room that no one is talking about is the longer the wait between their fights, the more obscure and uninteresting the rematch becomes- which means it might never happen. I understand that the business of fighting is $$$, but I refuse to believe that a rematch of this proportion would not be profitable, and I get a little sick every time I hear talk of Conor fighting anyone else, like Floyd "Flipping" Mayweather in a boxing match. LOL!!!
Look, I'm not saying Conor isn't amazing- I personally think he may very well be the most dynamic striker in the UFC right now. I also think he would beat Aldo in a rematch. But that is not the point. The point is, Jose has earned his right for revenge, and the fact that he hasn't gotten it over a year later is appalling to true fight fans. So I am here to make a plea to the powers that be, and especially to Conor McGregor. Do the right thing in order to revive the crumbling foundation of the UFC's warrior virtue and give Jose Aldo his rematch. Not because it's what will sell PPVs or grow your brand, not even because it's what the fans want to see. Do it because the combat gods that govern us all demand it.
Uncle Coach Kevin
"Spread the art..."