Make no mistake about it, the interim UFC featherweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Josè Aldo this Saturday night at UFC 200 is of huge importance.
While there is a lot of speculation regarding McGregor and if he will return to the division, on Thursday during the UFC 202 press conference where he was promoting his welterweight rematch with Nate Diaz, he made it clear that he is the 145-pound champion and that the featherweight divisions is his division.
“Make no mistake that 145lb division is my division,” McGregor said. “I am the world champion at that weight and I will continue to dominate that division. I have other business that has presented itself that I must handle first, but make no mistake. 145. 155. These are all my divisions and I will come back to dominate them.”
Now while McGregor is off handling the “other” business two of the world’s elite 145-pounders are set to meet again this time to determine who gets the next shot at the Irish superstar.
Josè Aldo (25-2) is a former UFC featherweight champion who is fighting for the first time since his 13-second loss to McGregor back in December. Prior to the UFC 194 loss, the Brazilian had been unbeaten for the last decade. Aldo tore through all who stood before him under the promotional banners of both the UFC and the WEC racking up 18 consecutive wins of which 10 were title fights. With wins over Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Kenny Florian, Ricardo Lamas and Frankie Edgar to just name a few this MMA genius is sure of a spot in the UFC’s hall of fame at the end of his career.
Frankie Edgar (20-4-1) is coming into this rematch with Aldo with a little more momentum behind him having won 5 of his last 6 octagon appearances at 145-pounds. Knocking off contenders like Chad Mendes, Urijah Faber, Cub Swanson and Charles Oliviera there was no denying the New Jersey native a shot at gold. Edgar is the former lightweight champion who holds divisional wins over BJ Penn, Gray Maynard, Sean Sherk and Spencer Fisher to his name.
Both men are familiar with their respective opponent and each knows the significance of Saturday’s fight. For Aldo it could well be his last chance at redemption because with a win he all but secures a second meeting with the McGregor. For Edgar capturing a second UFC title in a second weight divison it would solidify his status as one of the greatest lighter weight fighters in mixed martial arts history.
Whatever the outcome, whomever walks out the winner, just know that Conor McGregor will be watching and he will be waiting.