Jose Aldo won what is now the UFC Featherweight Championship on November 18, 2009. He has defended his championship nine times and at least once every year. Since he became the greatest featherweight on earth, there have been thirty-two either linear UFC champions or outright UFC champions.
- Heavyweight: Brock Lesnar, Shane Carwin, Cain Velasquez, Junios dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum
- Light Heavyweight: Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua, Jon Jones, Daniel Cormier
- Middleweight: Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman
- Welterweight: Georges St. Pierre, Carlos Condit, Johny Hendricks, Robbie Lawler
- Lightweight: BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson, Anthony Pettis, Rafael dos Anjos
- Bantamweight: Brian Bowles, Dominick Cruz, Renan Barão, TJ Dillashaw
- Flyweight: Demetrious Johnson
- Women’s Bantamweight: Sarah Kaufman, Marloes Coenen, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm
- Women’s Strawweight: Carla Esparza, Joanna Jędrzejczyk
When Aldo steps into the cage this Saturday, it will be his 2,215st day – 6 years and 25 days – as champion. Almost half of the current UFC Champions’ careers started in 2009 or later: Jędrzejczyk, Dillashaw, Weidman, Cormier.
Spain has had more Kings than the UFC has had featherweight champions.
On an eighteen fight win streak, Aldo has one loss, and a career record of 25-1. That loss was almost three years before Conor McGregor ever fought. Oh, and Aldo is only 29. At UFC 194 Jose Aldo will just be entering his physical prime.
Before UFC 194 Jose Aldo fans chant: “You are going to die.”
And that’s the man he faces, Conor McGregor. Without a doubt, UFC 194 is the highest profile fight of Aldo’s life. The UFC has spent a small nation’s GDP worth of money on promoting the fight. McGregor has managed to find every microphone and camera in existence and use them. And that was all back in July, before a rib injury sidelined Aldo, allowed McGregor to beat Chad Mendes, become the Interim FW Champion, and raise the stakes even higher.
At UFC 194 Jose Aldo Kills A Man
McGregor has gotten under Aldo’s skin in a way that no one ever has (and likely ever will), giving motivation to a man who has often looked bored the way only an unchallenged genius can look bored. Whether it works to his advantage or not, the Irishman angered the Pound-for-Pound King. He poked the bear.
McGregor has the Irish. Aldo has the Brazilians. Of the tickets sold for Saturday’s show, approximately 1/3 went to the Irish, 1/3 to Brazilians, and 1/3 to people brave enough to be inside an arena filled with very, very passionate fans. The chants of “you are going to die” directed at McGregor might very well be predictive.
That many people, with that much nationalistic pride at stake, in a city that encourages losing control, filled with who knows how much alcohol … if there’s a riot, at least it’ll be on TV.
(No, there’s not going to be a riot.)
What there will be is Jose Aldo. After the rib injury in July, Aldo enters the cage with a bullseye on his body. Facing McGregor, a man with an outstanding ability to hit the ribs, Aldo is basically giving the Irishman a roadmap of exactly where best to hurt him.
Doesn’t matter. He’s The Champion. He’s the best featherweight on earth. He’s the best featherweight ever. He’s the best fighter on earth, period. His punches are flying bricks.
His kicks could be used by the mob to enforce gambling debts.
He cannot be taken down. He is a world champion in jiu-jitsu. He moves his head like a hummingbird. His chin is granite. He is a create-a-fighter with all of the value points set to MAX. He’s a human cheat code.
And he’s motivated. He’s angry. Most people that poke bears get eaten; McGregor will be mauled. The cage will lock and Aldo will remember having to sit in front of thousands of Irishmen and be insulted to his face, unable to do anything at that moment, and he will take it out on McGregor. A man with all the tools needed to punish someone has been incentivized to do just that. Jose Aldo will hurt Conor McGregor.
“There can be only one” is a common tag line for fights. Aldo has been that One for 2,215 days. On Saturday, he’ll look to make it 2,216.
And don’t forget, all month long we’ll be featuring our 27 UFC Gifts for the Fight Fan in your life post just for you so you can make Christmas easier on yourself while also being a hero!