Back in Oct. 2014, it appeared that all cameras were trained on Jose Aldo Jr. and Chad Mendes, who collided in a rematch at UFC 179 that turned out to be a "Fight of the Year" candidate.
But, of course, the cunning promotion embedded one next to Conor McGregor, who was sitting ringside in Brazil to catch all the incredible action in real-time. The "Notorious" star was just on the rise at the time, and if Aldo retained his Featherweight belt, all arrows pointed to the Irishman as the next 145-pound title contender.
It came down to the wire, but even with his immediate championship aspirations hanging in the balance while the judges tallied their scores after five rounds of mayhem, McGregor was apparently just as impressed as everyone else.
From the clip:
"Great fight, respect both men — they put a lot on the line, they went in there and traded gloves. May the best man win."
Aldo went on to win a close decision and was, naturally, booked to defend his belt next against McGregor at UFC 189 this Saturday night (July 6, 2015). Six months of costly promotion, however, was poured down the drain when the Brazilian was injured in training and replaced by Chad Mendes.
By now, hopefully, everyone around these parts knows the full, "disappointing" story inside-out.
Sitting on the sidelines that night, McGregor made two key observations: Aldo did not go for the kill when he had the opportunity and Mendes' 65-inch reach limited his stand up. McGregor is a self-professed student of the game, but after watching that back-and-forth brawl, it would be hard to diagnose a fatal flaw that he could exponentially exploit.
But, one would imagine, he feels he can hurt "Money" standing and then not "let him off the hook."
Easier said than done.