Conor McGregor made mincemeat of Chad Mendes earlier this summer to stake his claim to the UFC interim featherweight title, but the Irish phenom still has a lot to prove if he wants to be the undisputed champion.
Despite the current string of victories for the Irish dynamo, there are many detractors who still feel the fighter has much to prove if he’s going to back up his cocksure banter. Even Joe Rogan has said that fans shouldn’t get carried away and should remember that as good he is, McGregor isn’t the undisputed champion, yet.
“Let’s be honest. McGregor has an illegitimate belt. It’s a made up belt,” Rogan said in his podcast. “We call it the ‘interim’ belt but Aldo defended his title a year ago. Stripping a guy because he doesn’t—because he can’t get through a camp without getting injured is a part of MMA. It’s always been a part of MMA.”
Until the UFC says otherwise, the official featherweight champion is still Jose “Scarface” Aldo and will continue to be until later this year. For the time being, McGregor can talk all he wants but he will still be forced to share the title until the belts can be unified.
Aldo, for his part, doesn’t plan to go down without a fight and has already said he plans to end McGregor’s hopes quickly, though victory is the main thing on his mind. “It doesn’t matter if I’m going in there and finishing this quickly, if I’m punching him once and he goes down,” the Brazilian fighter said in an interview for Combate’s Facebook page. “The important thing is that I’ll come out victorious, it doesn’t matter what I’m going to do in there.”
McGregor (18-2 MMA, 6-0 UFC) and Aldo (25-1 MMA, 7-0 UFC) were originally supposed to fight earlier this July at UFC 189. However, Aldo was forced to pull out of the fight at the last minute due to a rib injury that occurred during training. The two are set to finally square off in the octagon at UFC 194 on Dec. 12 at the iconic MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Aldo has begun his training regimen in earnest in preparation for the upcoming fight, but both will have their work cut out for them come UFC 194. For those trying to gain some edge and insight on the upcoming fight, there’s a plenty of info on all the upcoming cards at the page for Betfair Betting. The site currently lists McGregor at 8/15 odds and Jose Aldo at 6/4, but this could very well be anyone’s match. The big question will be how Aldo returns from his rib injury and any effect it might have on his form, if at all.
Now the braggadocios fighter has announced his plans to move up a weight class to the lightweight division. MMA Junkie reports that McGregor revealed his intentions during a Los Angeles media luncheon.
“I’m going to unify the belts and destroy the division and then I’m going to go up and take the lightweight division, as well,” McGregor said. “So that’s where I’m headed right now.”
Big words from the current featherweight interim champ but don’t expect McGregor to be moving any time soon—he’ll have to get through Aldo first.