ROUNDTABLE: What’s next for Jose Aldo after 13-second KO loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194?

Jose Aldo

What’s Jose Aldo’s next move? Does he get his immediate rematch? If not, who should he face next? Do you think he’ll be able to come back strong off such a devastating loss?


Jose Aldo’s been doing it for so long, it’s hard to remember he’s still not even thirty years old. Assuming that MMA mileage isn’t going to start having an effect, his biological age and skills suggest that Aldo can very well contend at the top of the featherweight division for a few more years.

Aldo’s first move is to mentally process and recover from the 13 second shocker that was his title loss. Losing is different for different fighters. For people like Aldo, who had only one loss ever, that being 10 years ago, it’s such a foreign experience that the mental effect is probably much more devastating. We’ve seen how different that effect is with what’s been happening to Ronda Rousey. There’s little doubt that Rousey could be at or near the top of women’s MMA for years to come, but she’s essentially said she’s finished with the sport if she can’t beat Holm in a rematch. Granted, she’s got other means to make a living that many don’t, but it goes to illustrate how unacceptable and devastating getting beat is for some individuals.

Aldo needs to work through what’s happened, and get his mind in a good place before his next fight. I don’t want to read too much into Aldo’s pre-fight body language, but many said he looked like a beaten man before the bell ever rung. Where McGregor was loose and energetic, Aldo looked pensive, weary, and tense. Maybe that’s just Aldo being Aldo, but it does add credence to the belief that the former champ may have some mental hurdles to clear on his way back to the top.

Aldo’s not going to get an immediate rematch. There’s a bit of fatigue from this fight having been promoted for almost a year now, and the way that the fight played out has made Aldo something of a forgotten man in the mind’s of many. Aldo has a better argument than almost anyone for an immediate chance to regain his title, but what’s best for McGregor is going to dictate who gets to fight him next, and an Aldo rematch just isn’t it right now. Add to that a compelling case for Frankie Edgar, and Aldo’s only chance for shot at the title right away is if McGregor leaves 145 lbs altogether.

Assuming that McGregor holds onto the belt, a fight to reestablish Aldo’s dominance is in order. Seeing a guy who could only last about as long as it took Weidman to complete his exceptionally slow wheel kick fight for a belt is just not that appealing yet. Have him brutalize someone, or win against a top guy, and Aldo fighting for the belt he held for so long becomes more intriguing. Aldo defeated so much of the division previously, a lot of top ranked guys would be rematches, but there’s a couple of fights that make sense from both a ranking level and interest level. Much like McGregor did to him, Aldo ended Cub Swanson’s night before the fight really even began, and Swanson would love a chance to avenge such a poor showing. Swanson is starting to fade from relevance rather quickly, so a fight against Aldo could benefit him quite a bit. He’s still got enough of a name to make it worth Aldo’s time as well.

Dennis Bermudez is another fighter who would jump at a chance to take on Jose Aldo. He’s got a fight coming up in January, but assuming he emerges with a win and injury free, this would make a fine match for Aldo. Bermudez was getting some title talk in the wake of seven straight UFC wins, but two consecutive losses have since derailed his momentum. A win against Aldo, or even a good showing, would elevate his position in the division. He’s also shown a propensity to get finished, as all five of his losses have been by way of submission or TKO, giving Aldo a better chance than normal for a highlight reel type win.

Max Holloway is probably just one win away from his own championship fight, and seeing him square off against Aldo is one of the best fights you can currently make at 145 pounds. He’s a confident young man, and the 23-year-old would accept such a fight against the legend that Aldo is without hesitation. The downside to this match is burning a potential title contender unnecessarily, and because of that I think this fight is somewhat unlikely.

Aldo needs a win, both to reestablish himself in the public’s eye, and possibly to help gain some confidence. He’s only a win out at most from a chance at the belt, and I fully expect Aldo in a championship fight sometime in 2016.


I think he should get an immediate rematch. He hadn’t lost in 10 years. If that doesn’t qualify you for an immediate rematch, what does? McGregor could absolutely beat him again as quickly, but it also could very well take longer. Aldo deserves the rematch and I do think that he comes back strong after this. If he doesn’t, he’s done. He knows that. The only way to deal with a loss like this is to get back in the cage as quickly as possible and start to make changes and improvements. Losses like this can destroy you mentally if you let them. I think Aldo comes back stronger than ever. It still might not be enough, he deserves a chance to try.
Aldo hasn’t lost since before I knew my wife, had any children, graduated from college, or even followed this sport closely. Of course he deserves an instant rematch, but that’s not in his best interest. The guy he hates more than anyone in the world just handed him his ass on a silver platter with all the fixins in less than 15 seconds. He needs to get some steam going and crush a couple guys, then come back in as the returning king wanting his throne back. We don’t want Anderson Silva part 2; that would be awful for the sport, and for Aldo.
Aldo won’t get the immediate rematch. He has been too injury prone for the UFC to feel as though it can rely on him, he hasn’t exactly endeared himself to management over the years with his gripes about money and respect, and it is hard to justify giving someone a rematch after they fell in just 13 seconds. Its not like it was a freak injury, he got knocked the hell out!
The question is who does Aldo face now, and I feel there is only one logical answer: Max Holloway. Holloway is the best fighter in the division Aldo has never faced and is looking for a signature win to announce himself a contender. Aldo provides that while Holloway provides Aldo with a fresh look. I’d expect that Aldo would be able to beat Holloway, but I also can see Aldo coming out so flat that he pisses away the fight as I have no idea what his state of mind will be by the time he fights again as he is clearly in a bad place now but has months to get out of his funk. I think he’ll be alright.

2 Comments on ROUNDTABLE: What’s next for Jose Aldo after 13-second KO loss to Conor McGregor at UFC 194?

  1. I don’t understand anyone saying Aldo doesn’t deserve a rematch. Rousey for destroyed, gets instant rematch. Valasquez for destroyed, had held up division for months on end with injuries, gets instant rematch. Baron got destroyed, for instant rematch. Silva got knocked out, got instant rematch. How did any of those fighters deserve an instant rematch and Aldo does not? Since when is it about what’s best for McGregor…. this is still the UFC right, or is Conor the new matchmaker and president? Besides, what’s best for Connor is that he keeps winning, there are far too many lightweights that will wreck Connor! Way to many good wrestlers and grapplers with the fight IQ to use it!

  2. I reread everything just to make sure, and no one is saying Aldo doesn’t deserve an immediate rematch, particularly in light of who else has gotten one. They’re saying he either won’t get one or it’s not in his best interest. This is different than saying he doesn’t deserve it.

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