After being cleared for action by doctors and medical staff for UFC 200, Conor McGregor has set his sights on defending his 145 pound title. The question; however, is who should McGregor face? Aldo has already been calling out McGregor and clearly wants a rematch. Aldo’s insults seems to be clutching at straws to be fair, considering he was KO’d in 13 seconds. But if the original Aldo vs. McGregor was billed as the biggest UFC fight in history, one can only imagine what a rematch would be like.
The dynamic of this rematch would make the fight intriguing because it’s McGregor who has the belt now, not Aldo. If Aldo had lost some of the hunger from his earlier days, it is certainly back in full force now. And of course this would be McGregor’s first title defense. The Irishman seems suited to play the role of a conquering warrior, but a king defending his realm might see McGregor change his tune, especially after being humbled by Nate Diaz.
At the same time, since the fight was so short, many of the original story lines and fighting styles would just be rehashed, making the clash redundant. The first fight for many fans was disappointing, so a rematch could possibly not be as compelling.
Frankie Edgar offers a different challenge. Edgar is a workhorse, a tough grinder. He is excellent at defending strikes and very good on the ground, holding a black belt in BJJ, which could present a sizable problem to McGregor, especially after Diaz’s black belt masterclass at UFC 196.
What makes an Edgar fight more exciting than Aldo in my opinion, is the danger on the ground Edgar poses is similar to Chad Mendes. When Mendes fought McGregor, he clearly suffered from a lack of a full camp after good ground and pound in Round 1 and most of Round 2. Mendes with a full camp is incredibly dangerous to McGregor, just like Edgar will be as he would have a full camp to prepare for UFC 200.
Edgar of course is at a clear reach disadvantage, giving up 6 inches to McGregor. Shorter reach did not prevent Mendes from landing successful takedowns though.
At the UFC 196 post fight recap on FOX, Dana White seemed reluctant to give a shot Edgar, even with Frankie sitting just a few feet away, although he did acknowledge Edgar’s desire to fight McGregor.
Mystic Mac has basically said he will wait and see what the fans want while giving Edgar praise for showing up and competing throughout his career and criticizing Aldo for often “not showing up.”
Edgar holds a professional record of 19-4-1, while currently riding a 5 fight win streak. He’s been asking for his title shot for quite some time and seeing the UFC veteran get his chance would be good.
So who do you want McGregor to face, fight fans? Jose Aldo in a potential king slaying rematch, or Frankie Edgar in a much deserved title bout?