Can McGregor-Aldo sustain the hype?
By the time Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo finally get in the cage, there will have been nearly a year of build-up and hype.
The question is whether the hype can be sustained for another few months to ensure the fight lives up to its billing.
A venue and date for the eagerly-anticipated fight has yet to be decided, with Aldo willing to travel over to Ireland to fight in Dublin. The Dallas Cowboys Stadium, with a potential crowd of 100,000, has also been mentioned as a venue.
As for dates, two have been suggested. December 5, but that would mean the MGM Grand in Las Vegas is unavailable and so those other venue options would have to be considered. Alternatively, January 2 is an option and that would be a stellar way to ring in 2016.
McGregor’s confrontation with Aldo in January of this year, after the Irishman beat Dennis Siver inside two rounds, ignited what is proving to be one of the biggest and best feuds in the UFC.
The grudge was due to be settled in July at UFC 189 at the MGM Grand, but featherweight champion Aldo pulled out just two weeks before after suffering a rib injury in training.
In the Brazilian’s place, in stepped Chad Mendes and he put McGregor through a real test as ‘The Notorious’ was given the opportunity to prove that he has plenty of substance to back up all the trash talking which he has been involved in during his career.
Mendes took McGregor down on several occasions, with his wrestling style causing his opponent trouble. But McGregor demonstrated his sheer strength with a TKO win just before the end of the second round.
It was a notable win for McGregor, who became the interim featherweight champion as a result. Mendes has twice fought Aldo, losing inside
the opening round in their first meeting in January 2012. Mendes was then denied by a unanimous decision against Aldo on what was the Brazilian’s last fight in October last year.
McGregor is right to point out it’s that fight which has the most relevance regarding his eventual meeting with Aldo. Certainly, the fight between the two enemies is going to be much closer than many people had previously considered it would be.
In extending his winning streak to 14 fights by beating Mendes inside two rounds, McGregor has shown he is worthy of his status as the most credible, and No.1 ranked, challenger to Aldo. So much so, that if you want to bet on McGregor vs Aldo, then the Irishman is the odds-on favourite to win.
That may be a little premature given Aldo’s career record, but the reigning champion must beware the dangers of not treating McGregor seriously. Aldo says he didn’t watch McGregor’s win over Mendes and that could prove to be a mistake, if such a statement is true.
By the time the fight takes place, it will be over a year since Aldo will have fought. He can’t afford to go into a bout with McGregor undercooked now his title challenger has shown he can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.