When Conor McGregor relayed recently that he was headed to Brazil to watch Jose Aldo throw down with Chad Mendes at UFC 179, the sharper knives in the drawer likely realized that a title shot was in the works. Well, now UFC boss man Dana White has essentially come out and stated that yes, the rising star will likely challenge for the belt next.
In the latest edition of “The Download” at UFC.com, White was asked about McGregor’s title shot position, and the promotion’s president stated:
“Here’s the thing: If you go down the list, every one of those guys has fought Jose Aldo already,” White told UFC.com in his weekly interview, referencing the top ranked featherweight fighters. “Conor hasn’t. So who do you line up next for the champ other than Conor? Everybody else has fought him.”
While the comment may have prompted McGregor detractors / haters to roll their eyes immediately, it is true that Aldo has already defeated the rest of the top five 145’ers in Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, and Ricardo Lamas (yes, Mr. Mendes too). Of course, one could argue that his victory over Swanson took place 5 years ago, and that if the latter gets by Edgar on November 22nd he will have won 7 straight, but, Cub isn’t bigger than Brock Lesnar is he…
At the end of the day, the fight game is all about the bills, and there’s no question Aldo-McGregor would be hee-uge. And, while McGregor’s gifts on the mic have helped propel him into this position, it’s hard to argue that he didn’t look great in his first round, demolition of Dustin Poirier.
Now, all of this is predicated on Aldo defeating Mendes for a second time on October 25th. What if “Money” wins? Mendes has locked up a second title shot by bombing out the likes of Darren Elkins, Clay Guida, and Yaotzin Meza, but he hasn’t faced Lamas or Edgar. Mendes did work his way to a unanimous decision win over Swanson in 2010.
So, perhaps Edgar could be tapped for a title shot if he gets by Swanson, and if Mendes defeats Aldo, but will that go down? Probably not. Depending on how a Mendes victory plays out, a rubber match with Aldo could also be booked.
We’ll know more on October 25th.