Aldo vs McGregor – The Future of UFC Featherweights

The Notorious Conor McGregor beat Dennis Siver by 2nd-round TKO.

The Aftermath with Dane Curley from Today’s Knockout

Last night, January 18th, at TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, The Notorious Conor McGregor defended his hype against Dennis Siver in front of thousands. Siver, a Top-10 Featherweight (145lbs), didn’t know what this creature in front of him was. It certainly wasn’t a fighter the likes of any kind he’d seen before.

That’s scary.

Dennis Siver has been in the ring with some bona fide studs. It’s certainly true that the best of men he’s faced have gotten the best of him, but he usually leaves it on the line before a loss. This time, against Dublin’s McGregor, Siver was helpless to retaliate. He was well-composed, brought his best, and it wasn’t nearly enough. He lost by second-round TKO.

It’s important to note Siver’s inability vs. McGregor because we’ve seen him fair well against top tier men such as Cub Swanson, who he fought in a Fight of the Night, albeit another TKO loss. Cub is the #3-ranked featherweight, ahead of Conor McGregor prior to last night’s performance. Seated in fifth place, I don’t intend on thrusting him too far forward in the wake of UFC Boston, due to an absence of accolades, but I wouldn’t bat eyelashes at any pundits who have already swapped him out with Cub.

Most fans knew Conor McGregor was something special before this particular display. I certainly did. Call me a fan. Yet, there is so much more I need from the Fighting Irishman to get him any further up the charts than third place [which is technically fourth, as Champion Jose Aldo is not numbered on the charts].

Conor McGregor has been raking over the bottom half of the Top-15, keeping all the weeds and leaves out of the more fertile Top-5 soil. His fight against Jose Aldo will be his first encounter with a world-ranked Top-5 fighter. With no foundational experience against any of the best in the world, will Conor prove a shark in the deep waters?

Jose Aldo is not merely a UFC Champion, he’s a champion in what I’ll argue is the premier division of fighting in the world. If you won’t take it from me, heed the words of G.O.A.T. candidate Georges St-Pierre: “Where there are more people, there is more competition.” Going by the average size of humans on Earth, which translates to the most common size of fighters, 145lbs is a gauntlet.

I rank Aldo #5 in the world, bar none, Pound-for-Pound. He’s beaten Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes, who are also Pound-for-Pound ranked men. Conor McGregor has had no such challengers. It’s not that he’s been dealt jobbers; his opponents are game. The cream, however, rises to the top, and he’s been drinking skim milk.

Eying the Irishman’s will-to-win, his disposition, his fearlessness, and his technical skill, one can predict he’ll be a good match for the champ. I take nothing away from him. He’s incredible. It’s just that Jose “Tony Montana” Aldo looks upon his competition like they’re little cock’a’roaches. He’s incredible and proven.  McGregor’s talk won’t have any effect on the 22-1 modern master.

That leaves us with skill against skill. Hype out of the equation, does in-octagon experience play as large a role as I’m led to believe it does? This match will provide the world with an answer.


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