we go again

Jose Aldo looked very impressive as he secured his rematch with Conor McGregor

Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar to claim the UFC interim featherweight title and a 145lbs unification bout.

UFC 200 Mixed Martial Arts Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo exchange punches at UFC 200. John Locher John Locher

JOSE ALDO HAS been courting a rematch with Conor McGregor ever since the Dubliner knocked him out after 13 seconds of their bout at UFC 194 back in December.

At UFC 200 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Aldo’s pursuit of a chance to avenge his only UFC loss so far ended when he overcame Frankie Edgar to win the UFC interim featherweight belt.

Aldo will now be rewarded with a title unification bout with McGregor, who has been the reigning champion in the 145lbs division since he dethroned the Brazilian seven months ago. However, McGregor has since been preoccupied by a welterweight rivalry with Nate Diaz, hence the decision to put an interim belt up for grabs in his absence from the division.

In a rematch of their February 2013 bout, Aldo started tentatively but quickly found his rhythm en route to earning a unanimous-decision victory against Frankie Edgar on scores of 49-46, 49-46, 48-47 — the very same outcome as their meeting at UFC 156.

With Conor McGregor sitting cageside, Aldo pointed in the direction of the Irishman in the immediate aftermath of the bout, shouting: “You’re next! You’re next!”

Equally keen to seal his own lucrative shot at McGregor, it was Edgar (20-5-1) who made the brighter start and controlled the pace early on, keeping Aldo on the back foot. But then Aldo (26-2) began to land, including an audacious knee and a powerful right hand, which may have swung the frame in his favour.

While Edgar appeared to be more lively and threw a higher volume of strikes in the second and third rounds, Aldo was landing with more consequence. The former featherweight champion was particularly dominant in the fourth round, during which he opened a cut above Edgar’s left eye.

Aware that he was behind on the scorecards, Edgar was more aggressive in his pursuit of victory in the final frame, but an elusive Aldo was able to divert from danger to comfortably make it to the finish line.

UFC 200 Mixed Martial Arts Jose Aldo celebrates another defeat of Frankie Edgar. John Locher John Locher

UFC commentator Joe Rogan described Aldo as “rejuvenated”, and the 29-year-old certainly looked impressive, particularly in the latter stages of the bout as his gas tank refused to give out as it appears to have done in the past.

“I have one goal and it is to beat this guy. You can bet that I will next time,” Aldo said afterwards, in reference to Conor McGregor.

McGregor is currently focusing on his 20 August rematch against Nate Diaz, but speculation over the next instalment of his rivalry with Aldo being hosted by Madison Square Garden in New York on 12 November is already gathering pace.

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