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MMA Roundtable: Living in a Post-UFC 194 World

Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo
Photo Courtesy of AP

UFC 194 came and went. What we’re left with is two new champions — both of whom dominated their otherwise dominant predecessors. Conor McGregor and Luke Rockhold are on top of the world, while Jose Aldo and Chris Weidman begin their journey as they look to find the answers.

More than three days have passed and many of us are still finding it difficult to put the event into a comprehensible series of words.

Here, Today’s Knockout brings you some of its MMA writers in an attempt to do so, as we discuss the aftermath of UFC 194.

 

Was it more shocking to see Rockhold dominate Weidman or McGregor KO Aldo in 13 seconds?

Luke Rockhold rains punches down on Chris Weidman at UFC 194

John Locher/AP Photo

Go Paolo: Aldo being knocked out in 13 seconds could’ve easily been the craziest MMA moment this year if not for a certain head kick. Rockhold dominated Weidman also partly due to a mistake on “The All-American’s” part of throwing an unnecessary spinning heel kick that resulted in Rockhold’s moment. But Aldo being finished in record time was insane, especially if you comprehend that he was undefeated in the UFC and the No. 1-ranked pound-for-pound fighter. It immortalized McGregor’s superstar status.

Riley Kontek: I would definitely say it was more shocking that Conor McGregor knocked Jose Aldo out in 13 seconds. First off, I really didn’t think that McGregor would win at all, nonetheless in 13 seconds. Seeing Luke Rockhold dominate Chris Weidman was definitely a shock, but McGregor putting the bricks to Aldo literally made me jump out of my seat. I doubt anybody expected that.

Jordy McElroy: The entire neighborhood likely heard my manly screams of complete shock when McGregor knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds. I thought the Weidman and Rockhold title fight was really competitive until a tired and sloppy Weidman decided it was a good idea to channel his inner-McGregor and throw a spinning roundhouse kick. It was all downhill in that fight after that.

McGregor setting the UFC record for fastest knockout ever in a title fight against Aldo, a legendary champion who hadn’t lost in over a decade, was flat out astonishing. People will be talking about McGregor’s impossible feat throughout the course of sports history.

He also predicted the outcome. Perhaps the man really is mystic.

 

After about a year’s worth of build-up to Aldo vs. McGregor, are you satisfied with how it ended?

Conor McGregor

Photo Courtesy of AP

Go Paolo: Yes. Ideally speaking, a drawn out back-and-forth affair would’ve been the best but this is still an historic moment for the sport. McGregor broke a championship record against arguably the top fighter alive today and did so in one of the biggest stages of 2015. The Irish took over Vegas, McGregor finished Aldo like he predicted. They really did take over. The “rivalry” was lopsided however and seemingly discredited Aldo. This is another unflattering end to another great champion’s reign.

Riley Kontek: I am pretty satisfied with how the year-long build to McGregor-Aldo ended. It ended violently, which is great. If it was a boring, five-round snoozer, that would have ruined the whole damn thing. McGregor talked the talk and walked the walk, which made it even more satisfying. Had he tanked and didn’t put up a fight, the whole buildup would have felt like it was for nothing.

Jordy McElroy: The 60 bucks I spent on the fight isn’t satisfied.

I’m kidding. The fan in me would have loved to watch Aldo and McGregor punch each other in the face for a full 25 minutes. It’s disappointing that we didn’t get an opportunity to see such a great fight on paper play out.

Who knows? McGregor might very well knock Aldo out again in the first round, but I have to believe the former pound-for-pound king is better than what he showed on Saturday night, even against a striker as dominant as McGregor.

 

Would you prefer seeing McGregor face Aldo, Edgar, dos Anjos or Cerrone next?

Frankie Edgar TUF 22

Photo Courtesy of AP

Go Paolo: I would prefer there be a rematch between Aldo and McGregor. Everything is still very eerie to me. There’s this whole speculation going on around backstage and why Frank Ferttita was allegedly upset over the results. And so many former champions got immediate rematches regardless of how lopsided their loss. Aldo deserves the respect for that and the rematch can be at Croke Park if that’s even a possibility. As far as McGregor’s division, I feel he still has many matchup options at featherweight so I’d prefer he stay there. McGregor vs. Edgar is very enticing.

Riley Kontek:  I would prefer seeing McGregor take on Frankie Edgar next. I think Aldo should get one win before getting another title shot. I think Edgar is the best featherweight in the world and can prove that if given a title shot ASAP. I don’t even consider Rafael dos Anjos or Donald Cerrone yet for McGregor, as he has a lot of division to still clean out. We’ll talk about title superfight when McGregor starts defending his title.

Jordy McElroy: McGregor and Edgar might be the most interesting style match-up available, but the entertainment value falls flat in comparison to a champion vs. champion fight against dos Anjos or Cerrone.

People love superfights mostly because they tend to be a figment of our imagination. Somewhere out there someone is still debating how a prime Fedor Emelianenko would fare against the UFC heavyweight champion.

McGregor has already set the foundation for another epic feud with dos Anjos and Cerrone. Particularly, can you imagine the buildup for a fight with Cerrone? Shut up and take my money!

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