Jose Aldo is set to take on Ireland’s own Conor McGregor at UFC 189 on July 11th. Much has been made about McGregor’s right to a title shot given that he currently sits at #4 in the official UFC Featherweight rankings.
Many fans have criticised the decision to award McGregor the opportunity to fight for the title. They have instead clamored for #2 ranked Frankie Edgar to have a rematch with Aldo citing that McGregor has talked his way to a title shot.
Jose Aldo weighed in on the topic:
“I’m getting a taste for [trash talking]. We have to be provocative to sell fights, talk more, to know we’ll be more profitable. It’s important. The financial side is great for me, for the UFC, and for him. But, if you talk about rankings, I think he’s undeserving. But, the rankings serve no fucking purpose, nobody fucking respects it, so this fight is good for me because of the money.”
UFC 189 takes place on July 11th. The card will be headlined by the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, with welterweight champion Robbie Lawler defending his belt for the first time, against Rory MacDonald, in the co-main event. Deck.ie will be providing live coverage of the fight from Las Vegas
In part one we discussed Aldo’s emergence in the WEC and his run that saw him capture the WEC Featherweight title. Once Zuffa absorbed the entire WEC roster in 2011, Aldo became the first UFC Featherweight champion and entered the Octagon with a lot of hype behind him. In part two we’ll run through Jose Aldo’s UFC career to date.
Aldo has gone 7-0 since entering the UFC however one criticism aimed at him has been his lack of finishes compared to his WEC days. Aldo had 8 fights in the WEC and finished all but one of those fights with only Urijah Faber managing to make it to a decision with ‘Junior’. Since signing with the UFC, Aldo has only finished two fights (one of these finishes was due to his opponent dislocating his shoulder. More on that later!) and won the rest by decision. Aldo has not come close to losing one of these fights and has been always been in control but he seems to have lost that killer instinct that he displayed in the WEC. Instead, he now picks apart his opponents from the outside with his superior boxing and Muay Thai skills and cruises his way to a decision victory.
First up for Aldo in the UFC was Canadian Mark Hominick at UFC 129. This event was held at the Rogers Dome in Toronto in front of a sold out crowd of 55,724 which shattered UFC and MMA gate and attendance records in North America. Aldo dominated the first four rounds of the fight and dropped Hominick in round three and four. Aldo faded badly in round five which lead to Hominick landing a takedown on an exhausted Aldo and dominated the remaining moments of the fight. Aldo attributed his stamina issues to a tough weight cut and illness before the fight. Hominick finished up the fight looking like this:
Kenny Florian dropped down to 145 to face Aldo next. After an even first two rounds Aldo started to pull ahead and ended up winning this fight by a convincing decision to set up a fight with Chad ‘Money’ Mendes in Brazil. Mendes, a two-time NCAA All American wrestler, saw his numerous takedown attempts stuffed by Aldo and felt the full force of his trademark leg kicks. With only seconds left in the round, Aldo spun and caught Mendes flush with a knee as he attempted another takedown to retain his title. In an amazing scene, Aldo celebrated by running out of the Octagon to celebrate with the Brazilian crowd.
Next up for Aldo was a ‘superfight’ against Frank Edgar at UFC 156. Edgar, a former 155 Lighweight champion, dropped down a weight class to face Junior. Aldo won the first three rounds while Edgar took the fourth and fifth to earn a decision victory over ‘The Answer’. He also managed to hit a spectacular superman punch off the cage to stun Edgar in the closing moments of round five.
Aldo squared off against ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung at UFC 163. After a lacklustre opening three rounds, TKZ dislocated his shoulder in an exchange with Aldo and the Brazilian pounced on this injury to stop Jung in the fourth for his second “finish” in the UFC. He once again cruised to a unanimous decision over Ricardo Lamas at UFC 169 which set up a rematch with Chad Mendes in Brazil.
Mendes came out strong in the opening round and dropped Aldo early on. Aldo roared back and even hit Mendes with two unanswered punches that rocked him after the bell in one of the best rounds in recent memory. In a fight of the year candidate, Aldo defeated Mendes by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the bout as 49-46 in favour of the reigning Featherweight champ. Next up for Aldo is none other than Conor McGregor on July 11th in what will be the biggest fight in Featherweight history. We’ll have live coverage of UFC 189 from Las Vegas.
As a bonus, I’ve included Jose Aldo’s top 8 UFC/WEC moments as picked by UFC commentator Joe Rogan:
Ticket details have been released for UFC 189: Aldo vs McGregor on July 11th in the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
UFC Fight Club members will have access to ticket sales on Wednesday 25th March at 6PM (Irish time). UFC Fight Club costs $75 yearly to gain early access to tickets. Members can purchase usually purchase 6 tickets at a time.
Subscribers to the UFC Newsletter will have access on Thursday 26th March at 6PM (Irish time).
Tickets will be on general sale on Friday March 27th at 6PM (Irish time).
Deck.ie will be attending the event live and will be covering the build up, crowd interactions, previews and post-fight analysis.
The biggest fight in Featherweight history takes place on July 11th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It pits Ireland’s new national hero, Conor McGregor, a man we all know well against long time division king Jose Aldo. For hardcore MMA fans, Jose Aldo needs no introduction. He’s the consensus number 2 (and you could make an argument for him being number 1) pound-for-pound fighter in the world and hasn’t lost in nearly a decade. His sole loss came by submission in November 2005 against BJJ blackbelt Luciano Azevedo. However the vast majority of casual MMA fans in Ireland still do not know much about McGregor’s opponent and have never seen a single minute of an Aldo fight (they don’t know what they’re missing!!!). This two part series will run through the career of Jose Aldo and his biggest fights in the WEC and UFC to explain what makes the Brazilian so special.
World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) was an organisation that was purchased by the UFC parent company Zuffa in 2006. By 2008 the WEC only concentrated on the lighter weight classes – Bantamweight (135lbs), Featherweight (145lbs) & Lightweight (155 lbs) while the UFC absorbed the Welterweight (170lbs), Middleweight (185lbs) & Light Heavyweight (205) roster. This made the WEC the top breeding ground in the world for the smaller weight classes – 135 & 145 especially as these weight classes were not in the UFC at the time. The UFC already had their own separate 155 division.
Aldo in the WEC
Aldo entered the WEC with a 10-1 record and faced Alexandre Franca Noguiera in his debut. There wasn’t a great deal known about Aldo coming into this fight other than he was a BJJ blackbelt under former UFC fighter Andre “Dede” Pederneiras. Even in his debut, Aldo gave a preview of the two things that he would become known for – vicious striking and being incredibly hard to take down (Aldo has avoided 91% of takedowns attempted on him in his whole career). Aldo won this fight by way of TKO in round 2. Aldo went 3-0 in his next 3 fights where he defeated Jonathan Brookins (GIF), Chris Mickle & Rolando Perez (GIF) all by KO/TKO to set up a no.1 contenders match with current #5 UFC featherweight Cub Swanson. Aldo finished Swanson in spectacular fashion when he hit a flying double knee 8 seconds into the first round.
This set up a title fight at WEC 44 with Mike Brown. Brown was a grinding wrestler who had ended Urijah Faber’s 2 and a half year reign as Featherweight champion and had successfully defended the belt twice (beating Faber again in a rematch). Aldo shook off Brown’s repeated takedown attempts and brutalised him with knees any time Brown tried to close the distance (GIF). Aldo took Brown’s back in round 2 and stopped him with punches to become the new WEC Featherweight champion
Aldo’s first title defence would be against Urijah Faber in Faber’s home town of Sacremento, California at WEC 48 – the company’s first ever live PPV. In a hostile environment, Aldo entered to Jay-Z’s Run This Town, making it clear that he would not be intimidated by fighting Faber in his backyard. This fight showcased what is probably his most deadly weapon – his leg kicks. Aldo peppered Faber’s legs for 5 rounds on his way to a dominant unanimous victory. Faber had to be helped out of the Octagon after the fight and revealed the damage done to his leg the following day.
Aldo’s final WEC defence was against Manny Gamburyan at WEC 51. Gamburyan, an accomplished judoka, was no match for Aldo. Gamburyan made it clear that he was going to cover up and dive after after Aldo’s waist from the start of the bout. Aldo backed him up with a faked jab, and followed with a low uppercut. Notice that the uppercut would be completely useless if Gamburyan did anything but shoot—Aldo knew it was coming.
This would be Aldo’s last fight under the WEC banner. Zuffa decided to abolish the WEC and absorb the 135 & 145 divisions into the UFC making Aldo the UFC’s first (and only since) Featherweight champion.