”There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” — Henri-Frédéric Amiel

You’d have to live under a rock if you haven’t seen — or heard — the trash talk that featherweight Conor McGregor has delivered regarding UFC champion Jose Aldo in the lead up to their match-up at UFC 189 in July. The brash Irishman has done just about everything imaginable to get under the skin of the Brazilian titleholder.

It’s a script that has allowed the 26-year-old McGregor to quickly ascend the 145-pound ranks to a title shot in less than two years. Much the way that former title challenger Chael Sonnen used his mouth to earn cracks at middleweight champion Anderson Silva (twice) and light heavyweight kingpin Jon Jones, McGregor is blessed with an eccentric personality that leaves fans craving more of him, no matter how outlandish he behaves.

McGregor’s antics have undoubtedly earned him, Aldo and the UFC a lot of money. Casual and diehard fans alike are salivating for July 11 to get here. Many believe that a McGregor victory is all but a certainty. Even one of my colleagues suggests that McGregor winning is good for the promotion.

However, many observers, blinded by McGregor’s hype and constant praise from the UFC, seem to be forgetting about the man McGregor is facing. They seem to be forgetting who that man is and what he has accomplished.

Aldo isn’t just a warm body holding onto the belt like you might have been led to believe. The 28-year-old is the most dominant featherweight fighter in the sport’s history. It’s been nearly a decade since he suffered his only defeat. Since then, the Brazilian has defeated a who’s who of the lighter weight classes. Urijah Faber? Yep. Frankie Edgar? Yep. Kenny Florian? Yep. Chad Mendes? Twice.

While McGregor’s mouth may appeal to English-speaking fans, Aldo is a legit star in his native Brazil. As fighters like Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira have aged and fallen from the limelight, Aldo has risen to take their place. More importantly, Aldo has done it all with his actions inside the Octagon, not with his words.

In McGregor’s defense, he didn’t earn his title shot on words alone. The SBG Ireland fighter has won five straight fights in the UFC, including four by stoppage. He’ll have a reach and height advantage over the champion and his boxing skills are some of the best in the division. However, he’s never seen anyone like Aldo.

And this is where McGregor is going to be in for a tough night in Las Vegas. Once the cage door shuts, he’ll need more than his mouth to carry him to the top. His cocky nature and arrogance — both in and out of the cage — won’t be an asset come fight night. He’ll have to deal with a fighter that no one in WEC or UFC history has been able to defeat; a fighter that he’s repeatedly disrespected and mocked throughout their media tour. McGregor’s tongue may have endeared him with fans, but Aldo’s language of fighting is a dialect McGregor won’t understand.

On paper, many factors favor the champion. Most notably, experience and level of competition. Add in a lightning-fast kicking arsenal and a high-level grappling game, and it’s the diversity of Aldo’s skill set that makes the Nova União product so dangerous. He’s faced elite wrestlers and kept the fight standing. He’s battled elite strikers and picked them apart on the feet. He’s taken heavy shots from some of the division’s biggest punchers and kept fighting like nothing happened. In other words, McGregor isn’t going to show Aldo anything he hasn’t seen before.

Words may have helped McGregor earn fame and fortune, but they won’t earn him a UFC title. The Irishman might be a marketing dream for the promotion, but there’s still the matter of beating Aldo in the cage. If McGregor’s efforts in selling the fight have further motivated the Brazilian, fans could be in for a highlight-reel performance. Aldo may not have McGregor’s respect going into the title affair, but rest assured that the Irish fighter will leave Las Vegas with a dose of humility. Whether Aldo beats it into him like he has done to so many challengers before McGregor, or it’s subtly delivered when Bruce Buffer utters the infamous line, “And still… featherweight champion of the world!,” McGregor will learn that actions always speak louder than words.

About The Author

Rob Tatum
Assistant Editor

Rob Tatum has been covering combat sports since 2009. His work has appeared on InvictaFC.com, The MMA Corner, Bleacher Report MMA, MMA DieHards and MMAinterviews. Prior to covering combat sports, Rob ran his own music website from 2002-2009. Beyond his writing, Rob has trained in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. He is a Colorado native that works as a mechanical engineer during the day. In his free time, Rob enjoys watching sports, playing music and working on cars.

Related Posts

  • I assume Rob Tatami wrote the above to provoke a reaction because if that were not his primary motive he simply does not qualify to be writing professionally on the subject. Conor will destroy Aldo because he is clearly the better fighter, he has both the physical and mental advantages in addition to a more effective skill set. Forget the rest, Mcgregor is the best and he knows it, not only that he will prove it at ufc 189.

    • Jacob K

      Lol u rite bra. Let’s see what you post July 12 :)

      • TKO 2nd round as predicted!

        • Jacob K

          Props. Congrats conor

    • mjavermolen

      ‘McGregor clearly the better fighter’ – have you been drinking? On what evidence do you base this ridiculous conclusion?

      Fact: Notorious has not been in the ring with anybody as remotely good as Aldo, he has not even fought someone who has had a title fight!

      I hope Aldo really teaches Notorious a violent lesson and that in the future Notorious shows some respect and class

      • Its not that I don’t respect Aldo, and I agree Notorious has not face an opponent nearly as good as Aldo, however you have seen in all Conor’s fights a clear and undisputed winner, in most cases it has been dramatic. In Aldo I am prepared to accept that this fight will not be the walk over his previous fights have been, however man can not overcome physics and Aldo will not overcome Mcgregor. Its as coach Cavanagh says, Connor has faced fast aggressive strikers his entire life, lets not forget that this style of fighter is as ubiquitos to Ireland as it is to Brasil. Conor is prepared and I truly believe that after he fights Aldo there will be no doubt he was and is the better fighter.

        • sammy skribblez

          sir– sir– sirrr!!!!– How can you say that.? Why do you people say stuff like this… “Clearly the better fighter”.. against who? C.M has taken some folks down( no-one contending for the belt by the way) , if i deny that I’m a hater. BUT– who in the murderers row has he taken down?( and i’m willing to bet that Mendez would cook him.) He’s very much like Cormier– talented— but that’s not enough— when the UFC tried to make a big deal out of him beating Hendo long after his prime. Oh this guy can beat Jones— that clearly didn’t happen he got out classed. Besides being ummm unthoughtful and careless outside of the ring. Jones was holding that belt because he is the best. This fight is very much like the Cormier and Jones fight. Loud mouth undefeated( now with a mark on that record) Cormier was rambling about how he was going to handle Jones… got in the ring and got out classed– not to mention a lesson in humility…( check the post fight conference.) Aldo is the best– THE BEST!!! 10 years of serving people their hind ends — no matter who they are– a loud mouth comes through and we are calling him the better fighter? Im not saying a T.j Dillashaw v.s Barao couldn’t happen– but I highly doubt it– smh

          • Everyone says Mcgregor has never been tested by anyone as good as Aldo, but I see it the other way round, Aldo has never fought anyone as good as Mcgregor. Look at Aldo v Mendes 2 , Aldo hit Mendes twice in the face at the end of round one after the bell, heavy left and right and then hit him many times over 5 rounds; just look at Mendes’s face after the fight and compare to Aldo’s face, that tells us that Mendes hits harder than Aldo, also that Aldo has speed but not power. Mcgregor on the other hand has speed and power, he hits like a train. Aldo’s best hope against Mcgregor is to take it to the ground, otherwise on the feet, Aldo could very well be knocked out round one.

    • tommy thumb

      you’re looking more on point with each day that passes. I don’t think there’s any doubt he has the skills to dethrone Aldo.

  • El Toro

    An extremely accurate assessment of what will happen July 11th.

  • Lunaforlife

    @disqus_johnDSM:disqus An accurate statement.

  • Pablo

    Rob you train in BJJ and Muay Thai with that you know the combat started earlier than 7/11. The fights I’ve seen Conor in he wins before entering the ring. I do think Aldo is PO’d that will make him work harder. Smarter? Probably not. I don’t speak portuguese so I’m not sure if comments are lost in translation or not. Conor has the skill to make Dana and the boys lots of cash and we will all enjoy it either way. My votes on Conor.

  • Steve

    Fiiirrssttt of all, it’s “Frankie Edgar? Nope” cause Aldo didn’t win that fight. Secondly, Conor isn’t Chael, bc Conor can back up his mouth and then some. He’s TWICE the fighter Chael was so that’s a poor analogy. Trouble is, that’s the ONLY analogy, bc there’s never been a fighter in history like Conor with the exception of The Spider. No one but Anderson has ever been able to move like Conor, strike as accurately as Conor, control the pace, where the fight takes place, HOW the fight takes place like Conor. Aldo may not be just a warm body holding onto the belt, but McGregor isn’t just another featherweight challenging for it, either.

    • Jacob K

      Nuthug much ?

    • mjavermolen

      Amazing how you compare notorious to Silva despite the fact that conor has lost twice all ready and that is without fighting even a top 5 ranked athlete. Aldo is p4p the Best fighter and I really hopes he teaches McGregor a lesson

  • Eduardo Santaliz

    Aldo to the bone fuck mc Gregor the public toitlet
    ALDO= THE BADDEST MAN ON THE PLANET , I make clear that I don’t have any animosity against Irish people in fact I have many in my family but still my hate for the trash can Mc Gregor.

    • tommy thumb

      first we have to get aldo to show up. I’m not so sure that he will.

  • tommy thumb

    This is a dopey article for a lot of reasons. Primarily to write off McGregor so easily, without any sort of analysis or assessment to back it up, reads like a post of some fanboy in the comments section of a real blog. I have the benefit of hindsight in this case, but I didn’t write him off a month ago either. I thought it could edge towards Mendes but I also admitted that McGregor skills are legit. That left is a game changer that no one else has in the FW division. Turns out, what Aldo couldn’t do in 25 minutes, McG did in 25 seconds. And he made it look easy. You couldn’t of been more wrong and just taking your head out of your a** for a second to take an honest look and you would’ve seen the same.

  • RenegadeSphinx

    Mendes had no training camp. McGregor couldn’t stop the takedowns. That stoppage was way too fast, especially with only seconds left. If Mendes had a training camp he would have won. If Frankie Edgar faced McGregor he’d whip him too. Aldo is going to destroy McGregor. That is unless Dana has the ref call the fight after a couple of hits like his last one…

  • Anthony Coto

    I thought this was going to analyze skills sets or techniques instead just a superficial “he talks trash so he will loose” you didn´t even bring the factors Aldo brings like the jab how it can be neutralized by the southpaw position of mcgregor, same with inside lowkick …