Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

A Quick Breakdown of Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor at UFC 194

aldo-mcgregor promo

At last, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor are going to fight. The trash-talk, wordplay, and toughguy-drama (mostly fueled by McGregor) is settling down, and this is the quiet before the storm that will go down tonight at UFC 194. Unless one of these guys plays an unexpected takedown game, we’re going to see a brutal and technical striker-vs.-striker matchup no matter who wins. So here’s my analysis of how things may pan-out technically.

McGregor’s corkscrew punches (specifically his left cross) are excellent.

On one hand, this could be a horrible matchup for Aldo in that he’s never fought someone as unorthodox and confident as McGregor. Sure, anyone can be confident, but informed confidence is extremely dangerous, and McGregor has this in spades. Also, Aldo is orthodox while McGregor is a southpaw. This will have an effect on Aldo’s timing and discernment in terms of leg kicks, since McGregor will be leading with his right leg. If Aldo throws a leg kick with his back (right) leg, then he’ll have to aim for the inside of McGregor’s leg instead of his quad. While this can disrupt McGregor’s stance, it won’t be as painful as a shin to the thigh, and it could leave Aldo open to McGregor’s powerful left cross. No doubt Aldo’s trainers have prepared him for such possibilities. However, one could train for years to stop the takedowns of a prime Randy Couture, but his takedown would be near-inevitability regardless. McGregor is certainly no Couture, but his left hand is a heat-seeking missile that is becoming more and more accurate. While Aldo likes to wear down opponents over time, McGregor just needs one good chance to put his reach advantage to work, and if he does then it’s all over.

On the other hand, Aldo is no fool, and he is more than capable of imposing or adapting his game as necessity dictates. He seems to lack the KO-power of his days fighting in the WEC, but that just means that the quality of his competition has improved and that his tactics are evolving. Also, Aldo will exploit any minor imperfection in his opponent’s stance and chop him down patiently. Take a look at this leg kick highlight from his fight with Urijah Faber:

If the fight becomes a drawn-out matter of irresistible-force-vs.-immovable-object, then Aldo may play conservatively and chop McGregor down gradually. I don’t think that Aldo will figure out McGregor as thoroughly as he did Faber, but he CAN figure out the Irishman, and I don’t see Aldo’s shin snapping like Anderson Silva’s during his Chris Weidman fight. Aldo’s got a smart head on his shoulders, and if he can outclass McGregor on the feet past the second round without McGregor knocking it off, then I’ll venture to say that McGregor’s footwork (the basis of his amazing striking) will be so compromised due to leg kicks that Aldo will chop his way to a win.

Two x-factors are worth mentioning here:

  • McGregor also has an amazing chin. If he can check or evade a critical leg kick by Aldo, and then impose his boxing game, then he will probably have the edge as far as throwing leather is concerned. His four-inch reach advantage will come in very handy here.
  • Aldo’s Muay Thai is so good that it steals most of the limelight from his jiu-jitsu. However, Aldo is indeed a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and it’ll be interesting to see if he uses his grappling to negate the striking part of the equation altogether.

I’m honestly not big on fight-hype or big pre-fight talk between fighters. But Aldo vs. McGregor will live up to all the hype and talk, even if the match ends early. Aldo’s 25-1 record will not be tarnished without precision judgment and technique, and McGregor’s raw talent and tenacity also cannot be brushed away without equally sound judgment and technique.


JJ Mike

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.


Be Sociable, Share!

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.