McGregor vs Aldo – Ireland vs Brazil – the unfazed vs the undisputed – movement vs mechanism.
What will happen when these two guys collide? It’s the second Big Bang, but the very first fight of its kind.
On one side, we have McGregor – brash, malleable, and silk-like in movement.
Waiting for him on the other side, we have Aldo – tested, proven, and a hardened product of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
My first thought whenever I see or hear about this fight – “This fight can’t actually happen – it’s simply too good to be true”.
When Aldo pulled out of UFC 189 in July with a rib injury, most of me said “of course”.
“Of course”, because there was no why either of these guys were going to lose that July 11th night. Neither of these guys would walk out of that Octagon with their head down in disappointment; it was just impossible to imagine.
Why? It’s the classic ‘what-happens-if’ dilemma: What happens if an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object?
Aldo has been unmovable for quite some time now. Who hasn’t he defeated at 145 pounds? Oh that’s right, the unstoppable guy, McGregor.
Forgive my juxtaposition. Here are 2 quick points for us to consider when speculating the outcome of this fight:
- McGregor won’t stand in the pocket and let Aldo continuously kick him in his inner thighs. Even if Aldo does kick McGregor’s lead right leg, McGregor’s south paw stance allows him to counter Aldo with his signature straight left.
- Aldo has the instinct to immediately clinch and leg trip you to the ground if you happen to out-strike him on the feet. Watch his 2nd round vs the Korean Zombie (Chan Sun Jung). Also, McGregor’s straight left leaves him open for a right hand counter too. Aldo will be looking to touch him.
There are 2 different ways I visualize this fight playing out (Fight Visualization):
- McGregor opens Round 1 with his usual open-palmed forward movement followed by a quick spinning heel kick to the stomach. Aldo gets hit, and panics. Starts to rush in. Gets caught by a straight left coming in. It’s all over. McGregor by TKO in Round 1
- Round 1. McGregor and Aldo are throwing fists and feet at each other. Aldo cliches with McGregor. Drags him to the cage. Takes McGregor down. McGregor quickly gets back up to his feet. However, his head is still tilted down, and his body is the back of the cage. Aldo rushes in with a flying knee. Catches McGregor on the chin. McGregor falls. Aldo by TKO in Round 1.
And that’s how I see it on the feet. Let’s not forget that this fight can hit the ground as well. And what happens there? Well, to me it’s a blackhole. McGregor’s full body roll to avoid Chad’s submission attempt has solid replay value; beautiful movement. But Aldo’s got BJJ skills. Plus he can turn into a cold blooded fist-slugger if McGregor’s in any sort of vulnerable position on the ground. So yeah, a black hole.
This fight reminds of the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman for one reason. We were never supposed to know the true outcome of that fight.
Leading up to their rematch at UFC 168, the second fight between Weidman and Silva seemed too good to be true. Weidman seemed unstoppable. Although Silva got KO’d by Weidman in their first encounter, he still (to me, at least) seemed unmovable because he wasn’t outright defeated the preferred way. It was more like Silva beat himself.
So, Weidman vs Silva 2 seemed too good to be true. What would happen if these two seriously fought? Well, we still never found out, as Silva snapped his leg. To this day, we have never seen Silva lose the good ol’ fashioned way in the UFC.
Because of this, it seemed to be that if a fight is too good to be true, it could result in 1 of 2 outcomes:
- The fight never actually happens. i.e someone pulls out with an injury (Aldo vs McGregor UFC 189)
- The fight ends in a weird, unconvincing way. (Weidman vs Silva UFC 168). There is still no clear winner
If Aldo and McGregor actually make that walk to the Octagon on December 12th, I feel the fight will be decided by a quick spur of movements (my Fight Visualization). Either Aldo rushes in and gets caught, or McGregor is caught when his guard is down.
I just cannot see one guy completely dominating the other. This fight will either be close, or decided in a quick spur of movements (a straight left, or a flying knee, etc)
Actually, there is a third way I see this fight happening. Insane enough, I won’t be surprised if this fight ends with an injury (like Weidman vs Silva 2). If it does end with an injury, I feel this fight will result in 1 of 2 outcomes:
- Aldo hits McGregor with a leg kick so hard that he breaks his food or shin bone. The fight ends soon after.
- McGregor tears his ACL (again) during a grappling exchange with Aldo. His movement starts to slow, and Aldo starts to pick him apart.
There you have it, folks. I could be dead wrong in my analysis. That’s the beauty of MMA. Anyone can lose in that Octagon.
Amidst the multiple possible outcomes of this fight, my gut tells me it’s McGregor’s time. It’s his time to take his career to the top. He is the complete package. It’s almost like he’s supposed to win. But ‘supposed to’ is a dangerous phrase in MMA. So I will keep that thought to myself.
See you December 12th.