MMAmania – You won’t find former featherweight champion Jose Aldo sticking his neck out for the UFC these days…..”I just thought it was a mistake on Edgar’s end to fight Brian, who’s a very tough guy,”… “He would have fought for the title, but he risked that and lost. Now he’s all the way back there again. I think that was his biggest mistake.”
Timing timing timing timing timing. Timing timing timing. That’s really, in the end, all that matters in a burgeoning, or sustaining, MMA career. Are you available to fight and have you put yourself in a spot where it even matters that you are? Conor McGregor obviously knew that from the jump, and did what was necessary both inside and outside of the cage. The Diaz brothers knew it, so did Brock Lesnar, Michael Bisping, and most recently Brian Ortega.
But apparently Jose fucking Aldo still doesn’t. The guy who has turned down or has pulled out of more fights than I can even fucking count had the gall to criticize Frankie Edgar, who has built a career and gigantic fan base, the latter of which Aldo has never and will never have, for taking a fight, which by the way is all these men’s job, and for some, like Edgar, their greatest passion.
Maybe not so coincidentally, the MMA audience outside of Brazil has never quite taken to Aldo, at least not to the extent they should have. Now, there is no denying that he was during his reign as featherweight king an elite talent inside the cage, and remains so to an extent today. He not only could impose his game on his opponents but force them to play the same one. But in terms of carrying the UFC banner high, he never wanted to be “the guy”. With that said that prospect is a hard burden to carry, and I get it. MMA is one big catch-22. You risk it all only to potentially lose and have to start over again like Edgar or risk being despised for playing it safe like Aldo. But the guys above risked it all, to one extent or another, and they all became rich and famous (or will, like Ortega) for it. Aldo too became a legend. But he risks possibly someday being relegated to being name dropped in a bar, in a wispy MMA hipster sentiment, while the Answer, the Irishman, The brothers from the 209, and the Count will be their own category on trivia night.