It’s safe to say that Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor don’t like each other very much. At UFC 194, they’ll finally settle their differences.
The duo was supposed to match up at UFC 189 but just before the fight, Aldo, who is the current Featherweight champion, was forced to pull out due to injury. That left McGregor to fight Chad Mendes for the interim title, which he won, and that brings us to UFC 194 and this Saturday’s unification bout in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There has been plenty of trash talk between the fighters, mostly spurred on by McGregor. After a recent win, he jumped out of the Octagon to confront Aldo, who was in the front row. And then when Aldo couldn’t make the fight at UFC 189, McGregor wouldn’t let him hear the end of it.
Aldo is the unquestioned champion as he hasn’t lost in more than a decade. He enters on an 18-fight winning streak but one of the main critiques is that he hasn’t fought many opponents on his level. Yes, he’s taken care of business but he hasn’t fought someone elite like McGregor.
McGregor enters UFC 194 on a 14-fight winning streak, holding advantages with size and power. That’s why we’ve seen McGregor posted as a -130 favorite on the UFC betting lines at the sportsbooks even though Aldo is the true defending champ.
In terms of the matchup in the Octagon, this will be a tantalizing showdown of skill. Aldo is efficient yet unspectacular. He isn’t flashy but he’s extremely effective. He has explosiveness, power and fine-tuned fundamentals that have made him the UFC’s pound-for-pound king. What might be his best strength in this one is his defense, which is often difficult to get through. He’s very slippery.
As for McGregor, he’s a relentless fighter that is going to come forward consistently and pressure Aldo. Aldo will be looking out for the southpaw’s powerful left, which is McGregor’s money maker. McGregor is going to do his best to keep this fight standing and to keep Aldo moving backwards. He’s very diverse with his strikes and would love to dictate the style.
If it’s fought standing the edge definitely goes to McGregor, but Aldo seems to have more tools to use to avoid that. If he relies on his defense, speed and combinations to keep McGregor at bay, then throws in some takedowns to throw him off, he’ll dictate the style.
If you’re looking at UFC 194 props, you might want to bet on this fight to go the distance. Both fighters are very durable and it seems unlikely someone ends up knocked out or submitted unless a fighter makes an egregious mistake.