|Image: Irish Times|
Almost a year of build-up filled with trash talk, press conferences, media attention, a rib injury, drug tests and everything in between would conclude with just a thirteen-second fight, as Conor McGregor dethroned the number one pound-for-pound fighter on planet Earth with an earth-shattering knockout to capture the Undisputed Featherweight Championship of the world.
It was yet another prophecy fulfilled by The Notorious, joining a long list of predictions from the Irishman as he left Aldo heaped on the canvas in the main event of UFC 194 in Las Vegas. But for all the excitement and anticipation, it would end suddenly.
Perhaps too sudden for some, certainly the desolated ex-champion Jose Aldo who told Joe Rogan post-fight, "I think that we need a rematch. That was not a fight."
That claim can be warranted. Not only had Aldo reigned supreme over the division, but this fight was so significant in the timescale and growth of mixed martial arts; meaning these two going at it again will almost be a right for the Brazilian having been so dominant in the past.
But with hints of a move to the Lightweight division, the arguments for a rematch on Aldo's part will need to be strong to convince the UFC brass and to keep the Irish Champion at 145 lbs.
|Image: USA TODAY|
All it took was one punch. One punch to completely derail the high path of Aldo and transfer the ownership of the Featherweight crown. As the Brazilian came in looking for a wild hook, he was caught cleanly with a cross to the left and tumbled to the canvas before vicious hammerfists to stop the fight. Whether it was luck or not is a question that should be firmly put on the sidelines, McGregor landed cleanly and early and it made his opponent crumble.
What is at question here is Aldo deserving a rematch. If you look at other scenarios, Ronda Rousey, the UFC's biggest star who dominated her oppoennts just like Aldo did, will be granted an immediate rematch after she was so convincingly beaten by Holly Holm at UFC 193. The same can be said for Cain Velasquez who is given an immediate rematch after submitting against Fabricio Werdum, or even Anderson Silva when Chris Weidman knocked him out in the second round two years ago. Aldo was as dominant, if not more dominant than these athletes who fell and were given their rematches; if you follow the same path he was wiped out by one punch, and another chance should come his way to rectify that mistake.
When you add on all the promotional effort and buildup which had so many fans anticipating this fight, you could argue that some fans were robbed of seeing a great fight on the night. It's no fault of the fighters, the company or anything else, its just how the fight went down - but we should see another rematch.
On the counter of my argument, McGregor does indeed have other obligations, like a move to Lightweight or taking on the next contender in Frankie Edgar. But for me, Aldo trying to redeem the mistakes that ended his unbeaten decade within thirteen seconds comes above those, even from a business perspective Aldo vs. McGregor II will still send numbers through the roof, whether its at UFC 200, at Croke Park, or anywhere.
Beating Aldo for a second time could also solidify the passing of eras from Aldo to McGregor. While its absurd to say so, many will still claim that a "lucky punch" transcended McGregor to new heights. Even he will want to wipe out the rest of the critics or maybe give Aldo what he deserves, "You don't want to see the only champion in the company's history going out like that. I had a little moment where I felt sorry for Jose," he told Joe Rogan after the fight.
A rematch of McGregor vs. Aldo must happen. We will get to see these opponents really have a fight and answer a few more questions. You can't let Aldo just go out like that, his run as the Featherweight king means he deserves more.
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