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UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor (12/12/2015) - Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

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UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor

December 12, 2015

Las Vegas, NV (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

 

UFC Featherweight Championship: José Aldo © (145) vs. Conor McGregor (145) (eighth defense) - McGregor, KO (punches), R1 (0:13)

UFC Middleweight Championship: Chris Weidman © (185) vs. Luke Rockhold (185) (fourth defense) - Rockhold, TKO (punches), R4 (3:12)

Ronaldo Souza (186) vs. Yoel Romero (185) - Romero, DEC (split)

Demian Maia (170) vs. Gunnar Nelson (170) - Maia, DEC (unanimous)

Max Holloway (146) vs. Jeremy Stephens (145) - Holloway, DEC (unanimous)

 

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card:

Urijah Faber (136) vs. Frankie Saenz (135) - Faber, DEC (unanimous)

Tecia Torres (116) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (116) - Torres, DEC (unanimous)

Warlley Alves (171) vs. Colby Covington (170) - Alves, SUB (guillotine choke), R1 (1:26)

Léonardo Santos (156) vs. Kevin Lee (156) - Santos, TKO (punches), R1 (3:26)

 

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:

Joe Proctor (155.5) vs. Magomed Mustafaev (155) - Mustafaev, TKO (strikes), R1 (1:54)

John Makdessi (156) vs. Yancy Medeiros (155.5) - Medeiros, DEC (split)

Court McGee (170) vs. Márcio Alexandre Jr. (171) - McGee, DEC (unanimous)

 

Event Bonuses ($50,000):

Performance of the Night: Léonardo Santos

Performance of the Night: Conor McGregor

Fight of the Night: Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold

 

Attendance: 16,516

Gate: $10.1 million

Buyrate: 1.2 million

 

Cancelled Bouts:

Michelle Waterson vs. Tecia Torres - Injury to Waterson

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Isn't McGregor vs Aldo a title unification match? They both need a ©.

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Isn't McGregor vs Aldo a title unification match? They both need a ©.

 

Didn't do it for Velasquez vs. Werdum. I only do that with the boxing shows where it's two or more recognized world titles (that exist as separate entities), a regular WBA belt, and/or a RING magazine championship. They're fighting for Aldo's title, not McGregor's belt. 

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In many ways, I'm honestly looking more forward to the middleweight title fight.  I keep going back and forth, but I think Rockhold is one of the few guys who could beat Chris Weidman.  But let's look back at Chris Weidman dethroning Anderson Silva.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHRaUqAs9C4

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What I find interesting is that Weidman said he was 192 lbs. two weeks out basically. Weidman is a decent sized middleweight, but Rockhold is a very big fighter for his weight class. Since the drug testing program has started, I've noticed a lot of dudes who look less cut up and defined along with being smaller. In addition, some guys have not been able to be that sustained over the course of 15-25 minutes. I am just going to chalk that up to both the testing and getting use to not being to able to rehydrate with IVs.

I wonder if that's going to be a huge factor in this matchup .You have two guys who have the same strengths, most notably being great when it comes to grappling and ground-and-pound. Maybe Weidman wants to sacrifice some strength for more speed and endurance. If Rockhold slows down at some point, then Weidman can take over. If Weidman basically gets dominated in the grappling exchanges, then we could have a new middleweight champion.

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I have such irrational hate for McGregor and Weidman.  I really can't even explain it -- I just hate them.  I'm a hater.  And it's not even good hate, in that I want to see them get beat up.  I just want them gone so there can be other non-hateable champions.  Plus I could see them still winning and just getting disappointed again.

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Being on the Conor McGregor bandwagon is a shitload more fun than being against it. And I'm not even slightly Irish.

 

(nb: I am biologically at least 6.25% Irish)

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Quite frankly, I think this will be a wake up call for people who seem to forgot just who the hell Jose Aldo is. 

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Quite frankly, I think this will be a wake up call for people who seem to forgot just who the hell Jose Aldo is. 

 

It happens nearly every time Aldo defends his title.  People were on the Korean Zombie bandwagon at 163 and Jose went to work and reminded people why he's the champ.

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Quite frankly, I think this will be a wake up call for people who seem to forgot just who the hell Jose Aldo is. 

 

What's crazy to think is that Aldo could easily be a two division champion right now if weren't injuries and other issues. People talk about Frankie Edgar possibly being able to get the featherweight belt after already being lightweight champion. Aldo beat Edgar ,and I think people would still comfortably choose Aldo to beat Edgar in a rematch. When there were negotiations for Aldo vs. Pettis, that was a matchup I really liked just because you clearly had two guys in their prime who even in terms of skill. People also talk about Jones vs. Werdum and talked about Jones vs. Cain before that. Now, there is a little talk here and there about Weidman vs. JBJ and Dillashaw vs. Mighty Mouse. However, you don't have the credibility of having two top divisions in the UFC. It's either one guy moving from a slightly tough division to a very thin division or vice versa. In the case of Dillashaw vs. Mighty Mouse, you have two divisions that really don't have a long, established history or lineage prior to the UFC outside of WEC or smaller Japanese organizations. In addition, they haven't gained the steam to do inside the UFC. My point being is that if Aldo would've stayed healthy, found someone who could help him make the weight more safely, and ran through the UFC featherweight division before winning a title at 155, he could've legitimately had an argument as probably the best MMA fighter of all time. I am not saying that he had to fight 3 or 4 times every year like his early WEC run, but fight at least twice a year and consistently. It's also not like he is lacking in one major skill category where you could say, "No, against _____ or  _____ in a higher weight class, he loses most of the time." He already beat one of those guys who would and has already given the best lightweights problems win or loss.

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Aldo should be a slight favourite for the fight but Conor's a huge featherweight and wrecked Mendes on one leg. It's a fascinating fight and I enjoy both guys, so I really don't mind who wins though McGregor winning would be best for future fights at the top of the division.

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This is the first fight Aldo is having in the drug testing/no IV era. With the history of Nova Uniao, it just makes me wonder where his weight is and what his body will look like 24 hours after weighing in. Barao looked decent at the weigh-in prior the Dillashaw rematch, but he had about 90 seconds of fight in him before things went downhill quickly. 

 

We already know McGregor is going to cut a bunch of weight. He didn't look like some of his past bouts, but we don't know much of that was the injury he suffered. While it's Conor's second fight under the USADA program, this is his first AFTER the IV ban is in full effect. So that is an interesting aspect going into this fight as well.

 

Maybe Aldo melts McGregor (or the other way round) at a certain time within the first round where it's not a factor. However, as a I stated before and in the very last UFC PPV thread, you're not going to be able to win a major title or major fight compromised in a significant way. You get certain outliers, but you have to readily accept them as exceptions. If you're fighting like shit since you feel like shit, there isn't a magical mode a fighter can enter to reverse that trend. You get comebacks and stunning finishes like Silva vs. Sonnen I. You had that quite a few times in a boxing, but you can do that over the course of twelve rounds that are shorter by two minutes and with less things to worry about. Out of all the top featherweights fighting this week, there is no way in hell I would want to fight any of those dudes in anything but tip top shape and without a sound strategy.

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Quite frankly, I think this will be a wake up call for people who seem to forgot just who the hell Jose Aldo is. 

 

What's crazy to think is that Aldo could easily be a two division champion right now if weren't injuries and other issues. People talk about Frankie Edgar possibly being able to get the featherweight belt after already being lightweight champion. Aldo beat Edgar ,and I think people would still comfortably choose Aldo to beat Edgar in a rematch. When there were negotiations for Aldo vs. Pettis, that was a matchup I really liked just because you clearly had two guys in their prime who even in terms of skill. People also talk about Jones vs. Werdum and talked about Jones vs. Cain before that. Now, there is a little talk here and there about Weidman vs. JBJ and Dillashaw vs. Mighty Mouse. However, you don't have the credibility of having two top divisions in the UFC. It's either one guy moving from a slightly tough division to a very thin division or vice versa. In the case of Dillashaw vs. Mighty Mouse, you have two divisions that really don't have a long, established history or lineage prior to the UFC outside of WEC or smaller Japanese organizations. In addition, they haven't gained the steam to do inside the UFC. My point being is that if Aldo would've stayed healthy, found someone who could help him make the weight more safely, and ran through the UFC featherweight division before winning a title at 155, he could've legitimately had an argument as probably the best MMA fighter of all time. I am not saying that he had to fight 3 or 4 times every year like his early WEC run, but fight at least twice a year and consistently. It's also not like he is lacking in one major skill category where you could say, "No, against _____ or  _____ in a higher weight class, he loses most of the time." He already beat one of those guys who would and has already given the best lightweights problems win or loss.

 

People give Aldo too much crap about injuries and the weight cut. The weight cut with Hominick was just after an injury and nearly an year of inaction. His trainer has now instilled a precaution that Aldo sits around at 160-155 so he does not have to cut that much weight.  The only fights where he gassed were the ones when he dominated 3-4 rounds and after winning most of the rounds, the onus is on the opponent to knock him out or submit him which is hard to do when you have Aldo pounding on you for three and half round. The Mendes fight should have assuage any talk of Aldo's stamina issues. In a span of three and half years, Aldo has defended that title 7 times and has been as active as any champion. Yeah, he could have been a two title champion(in my eyes, he still could be because I don't see anyone in the lightweight division touching him). 

 

If Aldo wins, I want him to call out the two division champs above and beneath him. I want that Pettis fight as well as the Dillashaw fight. Because the dude does not get the proper due because he doesn't knock dudes out like he used to. He has been through battles and wars against top level competition and it annoys me that people just forgot how good Aldo is. 

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I am by no means a McGregor fan, but this is an intriguing fight and I will be happy with whomever wins.  If Aldo wins, he reminds the short sighted why he's the champ and mends his slightly tarnished name. It also annoys me how easily people forget how good Jose is and how many elite level fighters he has completely dismantled.

 

If McGregor wins, we get a new champ who is talented as hell and whose smugness is extremely marketable.  Dude is a polarizing figure and people will pay impressive amounts of cash money to either see him beat the shit out of someone or in the hope of watching him get the shit beat out of him by someone.

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Anybody here picking McGregor to win? I'm on the fence and still trying to make up my mind. With McGregor's stance, he's wide open to leg kicks and he's not exactly shown stellar defense in the UFC (though he was playing games with Mendes to be fair - showing Chad he couldn't be hurt). Aldo also has a really good chin but there's a world of difference between Mendes' power and McGregor's. I doubt Aldo fights aggressively despite the animosity, so McGregor will have to really work for his shots. I don't think it's fair to draw comparisons between Chan Sung Jung and McGregor, as they're not even remotely the same caliber of fighter. The only similarity there is that they'll walk through an opponent's attacks to score their own, but Conor's a way better athlete than the Korean Zombie leading me to think that it's more mind games and choice than necessity. 

 

Bah, I'm so excited and it's going to be such a long week. At least we have two excellent shows to bridge the gap. There are so many intriguing fights this week beyond Aldo/McGregor. The middleweight title fight and Mendes/Edgar are great fights.

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I don't think it's fair to draw comparisons between Chan Sung Jung and McGregor, as they're not even remotely the same caliber of fighter. The only similarity there is that they'll walk through an opponent's attacks to score their own, but Conor's a way better athlete than the Korean Zombie leading me to think that it's more mind games and choice than necessity. 

 

The whole point of bringing up CSJ was to elaborate on the fact that Jose's opponents ride a wave of familiarity / notoriety into title fights and folks seem to forget whose belt they're going after.  It seems like Jose has to re-introduce himself to the public every time he defends his belt.

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This is hard to call, really want McGregor to win but Aldo is by far the biggest test yet.

McGregors left hand will be the difference i think, maybe also the fact that this is Aldos first fight in 12+ months and in that time Conors fought twice (granted one of those was Siver) but still.

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This is a great pre Christmas present. Aldo vs. McGregor finally happening and Weidman looking to defend his UFC Middleweight Championship for the fourth time plus his undefeated record against Rockhold. Hoping Maia vs. Nelson goes to the ground ASAP.

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I hope Maia/Gunnar is a fun ground battle, but I'm sort of expecting an awkward stand-up battle since both guys will be too hesitant to engage on the ground and they will cancel each other out.  That sometimes happens.

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I hope Maia/Gunnar is a fun ground battle, but I'm sort of expecting an awkward stand-up battle since both guys will be too hesitant to engage on the ground and they will cancel each other out.  That sometimes happens.

 

Not that it couldn't happen, but I don't see Maia being that hesitant to be on the ground. I think Gunnar would murder other grapplers, but he ain't in there against just another grappler. Gunnar's method of victory here to outstrike Maia whereas Maia should get him to the ground and have back or top control forever. I think we're going to see Nelson try to reverse or go for a sweep and that might be his undoing. I would worry more about a ground stalemate than a striking one.

 

Another matchup I like from a booking standpoint is Warlley Alves vs. Colby Covington. Both guys are 3-0 in the UFC and it's time they go against other prospects at least. ATT is so invested in Covington, and it's interesting they're allowing him to fight Alves. Alves has shown flaws here and there in addition being on the right side of a bad decision against Alan Jouban. However, I think he is a much tougher opponent than a Mike Pyle. All Covington had to really worry about was a triangle from the bottom. I think Alves has the skills to tune him up if he can stop the takedowns that are definitely guaranteed to come. That's something that Covington really hasn't had to worry about in his UFC run.

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The lighter weight class championship fight headines over the heayvier weight class championship contest. That doesn't happen often.

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