It isn’t every day that an all-time great loses his or her position at the top of a division. Yet, that is exactly what happened to UFC greats Ronda Rousey and Jose Aldo in 2015.
Rousey was famously kicked in the head by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November, and on Saturday, Aldo was sent crashing to the mat courtesy of a Conor McGregor left hook.
Aldo’s loss comes as a true shock. Yes, Rousey’s knockout may have gotten more attention, but Aldo’s dethroning came after nearly a decade at the top.
Fans and media were stunned after the 13-second knockout. The man who gave up the gold? He’s understandably devastated.
“It still is too hard to digest,” Aldo told Combate on Sunday. “We trained hard, did everything right, and the result wasn’t positive. It takes a while for us to digest, but it’s part [of the sport]. It’s a sport and we have to accept.”
Aldo, like so many of us, are still trying to figure out exactly what caused one of the best fighters of all-time to lose in a blink of an eye.
“So, there wasn’t even a fight, right? Only 13 seconds,” he said. “And I also remember when I came in, how I tried to punch. But, man, it’s hard to say know if it’s [his] success or [my] mistake. It’s a quick decision, and he was able to connect a good punch when I tried a combination.”
UFC fighters immediately came out in support of both Aldo, and the new 145-pound king, McGregor. Despite all of the Irishman’s brash chatter, the performance over Aldo silenced the doubters.
Talks of a rematch surfaced almost immediately and many thought that if former champs Cain Velasquez and Ronda Rousey could get immediate rematches, then why wouldn’t Aldo — a man more dominant over a longer period of time than both Rousey and Velasquez.
Aldo, to his credit, says an immediate rematch is something he would prefer, but it is still too soon to predict such things. For now, Aldo will be using this time to rest, reflect and regroup.
“We spoke [with Dana White] right after,” he said. “But I think it’s too soon to talk. Of course, I want a rematch, and I think I have this right. Not only me, but my career speaks for itself.”
He continued, “It wasn’t this time, but we will come out victorious, for sure. It’s a sport, we have to accept. Not only from wins you live your life. That makes us stronger. Way stronger. You can be sure that we will come back stronger, more champion than I was before.”
Immediate rematch, or a fight back to the top? Only time will tell for one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.