When Conor McGregor dethroned Jose Aldo in December, he referred to the featherweight division as dead. But through all the talk, one contender remains, and McGregor must now silence his critics and face Frankie Edgar at UFC 200.
McGregor hoped to become the first person in the promotion’s history to hold two world titles at the same time, but a humbling wake-up call at the hands of Nate Diaz forces the Notorious to put his aspirations on hold for now – and he must return to defend his featherweight title.
A rematch with Jose Aldo who was quick to taunt McGregor after the Diaz loss, or a defence against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar are the two most likely options on the table – but McGregor must be brave and give the shot to Edgar.
A valid argument can be made that Aldo deserves a rematch after suffering his first loss in 10 years to McGregor, and given that the fight only lasted 13 seconds – perhaps another showdown with the Brazilian is what McGregor needs to get him back on the winning front. But even though Aldo has beaten Edgar before, Aldo’s style will make that fight much more appealing to the Irishman.
Edgar on the other hand stylistically presents a potential nightmare for McGregor. With his high volume boxing output, coupled world class level wrestling, insane cardio and great submission game, it’s easy to see why anyone would want to avoid him.
But McGregor needs to prove to himself that he can beat someone with Edgar’s style, because so far he only beat one wrestler; out-of-shape Chad Mendes. Everyone else has chosen to stand and trade with the Irishman, and we all know how that went.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend, Eddie Bravo defended McGregor’s ground game, and pointed to the face McGregor has been seriously hurt in the build up to the choke.
He spoke to The Joe Rogan Experience about the Dubliner’s impressive ground game.
“People are talking a lot of shit on Conor’s Jiu-Jitsu. I know Conor’s Jiu-Jitsu is good.
“He’s come to my school. That guy is good. Just because he was mounted and choked out… He was already hurt!
“But even if he wasn’t hurt, I get mounted by my purple belts sometimes and get my back taken. There’s some shit going on and you add punches and all this hype, just because he got mounted and got his back taken, it does not mean that Conor’s Jiu-Jitsu sucks. Don’t get it twisted.
“He was a little hurt and Nate Diaz is really good. Nate Diaz could probably do that to me, it doesn’t mean I suck.”
But unfortunately most people aren’t Eddie Bravo and don’t understand BJJ like he does. People are quick to point to then fact that all three of McGregor’s career losses have some via submission. Overcoming Edgar will go a long way to silencing these doubters.
Aldo is the easy fight for McGregor, he knows he can break the Brazilian mentally and the one punch KO will always be in the back of both their minds. It’s very likely that the Brazilian will be the option McGregor will choose, but he should face Frankie Edgar if he truly want to kill the featherweight division.
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