At the UFC 196 post fight press conference, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor said he would prefer to grant a rematch to Jose Aldo for his next title defense over second ranked contender Frankie Edgar. McGregor was very brash leading up to his fight with Nate Diaz at UFC 196, stating his intentions of challenging UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and holding titles in multiple weight classes. It is interesting that a champion who is very driven and open to challenges, is more interested in a rematch with a foe he knocked out in 13 seconds over a new challenger who is a former lightweight champion and has run through a gauntlet of contenders over his current five-fight winning streak. Here are 10 valid reasons why Conor McGregor would prefer a rematch with Jose Aldo over Frankie Edgar.
- McGregor already beat Aldo: At his lowest point, after his loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196, McGregor said he would prefer a rematch with Jose Aldo at the post fight press conference. It would be easier an easier path for the featherweight champion to fight a challenger he has already easily defeated than a worthy adversary who has been stuck in limbo. McGregor ended Jose Aldo’s long reign as the best featherweight in the world in only 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December. Despite Aldo’s ten-year undefeated streak, does losing in such dominating and spectacular fashion warrant an immediate rematch? Sure the UFC has granted Chris Weidman a rematch with Luke Rockhold after a one-sided TKO loss on UFC 194, but the depth of options is limited in the middleweight division. When Georges St. Pierre lost his belt to Matt Serra by first round TKO, he fought his next fight against Josh Koscheck to get back in line for a title shot.
- Conor never talked smack to Edgar: At the UFC Go Press Conference in September, McGregor was happy to talk trash to lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos, Jose Aldo, Donald Cerrone and Chad Mendes. While he targeted all of these top flight fighters, the Irishman chose not to engage Frankie Edgar in a war of words. The mild-mannered Edgar would have been an easy guy to pick on in the lunch room, but McGregor didn’t want to give Frankie any additional mental ammunition in the event they faced each other down the road. There is a respect or fear McGregor holds for Edgar.
- Edgar fought a different Aldo: Frankie Edgar fought a different Jose Aldo at UFC 156 in 2013 than the version McGregor faced at UFC 194. Back in 2013, the UFC didn’t implement a rigorous drug testing plan and fighters were allowed to use IV bags to recover from their weight cuts. Joe Rogan mentioned a wacky drug test Aldo tried to evade in May 2015.