On a 1-10 scale, how much do you sympathize with Jose Aldo’s frustration with his inability to secure a rematch against Conor McGregor, and why? The following is the first batch of responses from the MMATorch team.
MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATORCH Contributor
8.0. I do sympathize with Jose Aldo as I feel he has a legitimate argument. I’ve never seen a former champion, especially one as dominant as Aldo, have such a hard time getting a rematch. Look, I get that UFC wants to put together fights that will sell the most PPVs. It is a business, after all. But, here’s a man who dominated the Featherweight Division and was once considered as arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world – MMATorch has him no. 6 – and he has to beg Dana White and the UFC for a rematch – a rematch I’m fairly confident he’ll win by the way.
Dana White promising that Conor McGregor’s next move would be either to defend his Featherweight Title or drop the belt after the Nate Diaz fight didn’t help matters. Add to it the fact that after McGregor fights Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, it will be his third fight outside of the division he holds the title in. Personally, I wanted see Aldo vs. McGregor 2 instead of Alvarez vs. McGregor.
JARED DODDS, MMATorch contributor
A solid 10. I am completely on board with his frustration, and hope that he finds a way to take his talents to Bellator or the WSOF. Dana White is known for picking a side and sticking to it at all costs, and like it or not, his wagon is tied to Conor McGregor. Keeping McGregor happy influences how much money Dana White makes, and at the end of the day that is what concerns Dana White. But to see White give title fights to people like Johny Hendricks after he lost to GSP (filling an empty title, but still) while ignoring the best featherweight in the history of MMA, a guy who held his belt for years and beat everyone put in front of him except McGregor, is a joke. I think Aldo is a pound-for-pound better fighter than McGregor just based off of what he has accomplished inside and outside of the Octagon, and while I would love to watch him continue to fight and unify his belt, I would definitely understand him leaving the UFC.
JOEL WIELENGA, MMATorch contributor
Hmmm. I will go with a 7. You’ve got to sympathize with Aldo as he is clearly one of the best fighters in the world and he has earned himself another shot at the belt. What makes it worse is that if he could get back in the cage with McGregor, there is a very good chance that he could beat him and win back his belt.
However, McGregor is the biggest star in the UFC and can really do whatever he wants at this point. He wants the biggest fights and the best opportunities and, unfortunately for Aldo, he is not the fight McGregor wants right now. I do think things will start to look up for Aldo, though, because after McGregor tries to win a second belt at UFC 205, I believe he will vacate the Featherweight Title belt. With Aldo being the Interim Champ, he would become the real champion once again. This is why I decided on a 7, because Aldo’s situation definitely sucks, but I believe he will get his title back again sooner rather then later.
WADE KELLER, MMATorch editor
As much as I understand UFC is a business, eventually if it becomes transparent that fights are being bypassed because someone doesn’t speak bombastic English, it undercuts the vital “sports credibility” of everything UFC does. Right now Championship Titles matter. They matter because, as flawed and inconsistent as title match-ups are booked, there is enough credibility that they carry some value. UFC has to pick very carefully and rarely circumstances where a clear deserving contender on a sports competition level is overlooked in favor of a weaker challenger who will draw a bigger buyrate.
Also, Jose Aldo losing so quickly to Conor McGregor doesn’t weaken his case for a rematch, it strengthens it. Losing the way he did came across as a fluke, or a result of a bad careless reckless strategy. If Jose was a no. 4 contender to a perennial champion and lost that way, well, get in the back of the line and re-earn your shot. But when you win as many fights in a row as he did as dominantly as he did for as many years as he did, he deserves another chance. His entire career shouldn’t derailed because of one bad strategy choice made based on Conor getting under his skin.
The only reason my number associated with the him isn’t higher is there are mitigating factors, such as his track record when it came to pulling out of fights or pace at which he defended his title over those years or not being fully professional in terms of doing his part to in marketing and hyping his fights. He also loses a little because he seems to be petulant in the way he is handling this, going so far as to say he’s just going to quit MMA entirely. Someone who cares about MMA with a passion and wants to take those skills during his prime to another organization gets more sympathy from me than someone who comes across as justifiably frustrated, but thinks the solution is to quit the sport entirely.
Also, Dana White hasn’t been consistent or up front with this situation, so Aldo has a right to feel deceived or taken for granted. So there is a lot at play here, but I’m settling at a 7.0 on Aldo’s side, and only through his own history and current actions is this not a 9.0 or a 10.0.
More than how Aldo feels, UFC has to be careful not to undercut the credibility of the perceived “sports competition” aspect of how fights are put together. This is a glaring case of a former champion with an incredibly impressive history still in his prime deserving if not an immediate rematch, a timely rematch, and it isn’t on the schedule or seemingly on the horizon. UFC’s goal should be to promote the most marketable fights they can without blatantly disregarding merit in terms of who gets title shots to the point that even the casual MMA fans start to take note.
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