Irish madman Conor McGregor has steamrolled his way through the UFC featherweight division and into a showdown with 145 pound king Jose Aldo. Let's review the UFC odds being offered and evaluate which fighter will cash in our UFC picks on July 11th.
For those who shelled out the $50 to watch UFC 188 you no doubt witnessed the greatest promo in UFC history right before the Melendez/Alvarez fight. The 80's Tears for Fears song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" was retooled and sung hauntingly by Lorde behind a video montage of both fighter's dominating and bone-crushing success against all who have opposed them at 145 pounds. McGregor, channeling equal parts WWE heel and sinister leprechaun, was shown berating Aldo at a UFC presser as well as leaping out of the Octagon after annihilating yet another opponent and lunging into the crowd trying to reach Aldo who was sitting only a few rows back. The coup de grace was McGregor glaring and declaring "I'm taking your belt," with the flag of Ireland draped around him. Aldo's rejoinder to all of McGregor's madness was far more reserved and befitting a champion of his status. Not since HBO's promo for boxing's Hagler/Hearns fight many moons ago using Phil Collins "In the Air Tonight" as the musical score has a promotion been so polished and persuasive.
The dichotomy was illustrated brilliantly and for all of McGregor's outlandish antics and Broadway bluster he pulled it off effortlessly. McGregor is that guy. In a world where the WWE writes scripts for supremely conditioned actors/athletes, there is nothing but authentically delicious lunacy surrounding McGregor. Of course he's hyping the fight but there is no mistake he means every word and nothing short of Jose Aldo's howitzer leg kicks will stop him from strapping around his waist the UFC featherweight belt.
Conor McGregor (17-2, 15 KO's, 1 Sub) vs. Jose Aldo (25-1, 14 KO's, 2 Subs)
The UFC odds opened at Aldo -160 but a wave of money on the challenger has dropped that price across the board. As of this writing Aldo is holding on as a tenuous favorite at -120 at 5Dimes. McGregor has a two inch height and a four inch reach advantage which will go a long way towards keeping Aldo's ferocious leg whips from striking their target, aka McGregor's legs. The native of Dublin, Ireland and that country's former amateur national boxing champion is a true hybrid fighting machine. Of course he relies on boxing as his base but it is his herky, jerky technique that screams capoeira which he incorporates so well. Ironically capoeira is a Brazilian martial art and how ironic that it will be implemented against one of the very best Brazilian MMA practitioners on the planet.
Jose Aldo is a man who needs no introduction. His punches are fierce while his Muay Thai kicks are a force of nature. It is amazing Aldo is but 28-years-old as it seems like he's been around forever. Not since 2005 has Aldo lost a fight but his most recent bouts have not been easy. Five of his last seven matches have gone the championship distance of five rounds and his rematch with Chad Mendes (Fight of the Year 2014) was a war.
Meanwhile Conor McGregor has been setting them up and putting them down. Only top contender Max Holloway has been able to go the distance with the 26-year-old Irish terror though it ended the way all of McGregor's matches have ended, save one early loss, with his hand raised high into the air. Perhaps the clincher for me and many other UFC handicappers and fans was the way McGregor starched the talented Dustin Poirier in an opening round TKO and then followed that up with a second round TKO of veteran Dennis Siver. McGregor was barely touched in either fight and has been just running over some very tough hombres.
My UFC pick in this one is Conor McGregor and my recommendation would be to bet him now rather than later. All of the offshore books have been swamped with McGregor money and although there could be a buy-back on Aldo on the day of the fight, I will be content to get down at places like BetDSI.com that is shading Aldo at -127 and giving a return on McGregor at +107. Get ready to watch a passing of the featherweight torch on July 11th.
Free UFC Picks: McGregor +107 at Pinnacle