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Morning Report: Kenny Florian wonders if Jose Aldo is still motivated after Max Holloway ‘broke him mentally’

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After an unprecedented run of dominance that saw him remain undefeated for a decade, defending his featherweight title nine times, Jose Aldo has now lost two of his last three bouts and the questions are starting to mount. Is Aldo done? Did Conor McGregor break his chin? Is his heart not in it anymore? Where does he go from here? Boxing, really?

Well, now there’s an answer to one of those questions as Aldo will rematch Ricardo Lamas at UFC Winnipeg on Dec. 16. Aldo won their first fight by unanimous decision but this will be unfamiliar territory for the former featherweight champ as it will be Aldo’s first time on free television since 2010 and his first three-round fight since 2009. All these variables beg the question, what will Aldo look like coming off that loss to Max Holloway and UFC analyst Kenny Florian is wondering the same thing.

On the most recent edition of The Anik & Florian Podcast, Florian responded to a question from Anik about “what version of Aldo” they would see at UFC Winnipeg, and Aldo’s former foe said he was unsure, in part because he believed Aldo looked disinterested in the loss to Holloway.

“That’s the big question for me because although he was winning the majority of that fight against Max Holloway, early on especially, as the fight went on it seemed like it was the Jose Aldo that kind of loses interest in the fight,” Florian said. “It seemed like maybe he was a little bit bored or didn’t want to work as hard as he normally does during the fight. He didn’t have that same kind of pep in his step and Holloway just took it to him, kept pressuring him backwards and Holloway just broke him mentally and then took him out with skill. It was a beautiful thing to watch.”

Beautiful and violent. After losing the first two rounds, Holloway stopped Aldo in the third with a barrage of strikes. It was Aldo’s third career loss and only his second in the UFC, the other being his embarrassing 13-second knockout to McGregor. Aldo rebounded from the that loss with aplomb, beating Frankie Edgar in one of the best performances of his career but Florian says that this one is a different animal and the way Aldo looks against Lamas will let everyone know if the best days of the former champion are behind him or not.

“For Aldo, this is an interesting fight to see, are you still motivated to fight? Are you still out there to win and put out your best performance? Especially against a guy he already beat, we’re gonna find out pretty quickly what Jose Aldo is all about and if he truly wants to get back to the top of this division.”


MUST-READ STORIES

Eagle. Khabib Nurmagomedov calls for Tony Ferguson fight at UFC 219.

Danger. Henry Cejudo opens up about narrowly escaping California wildfires.

Cry. Derrick Lewis says he cried like a “big-ass baby” after withdrawing from UFC 216.

$$$. Ian McCall has signed with Rizin, will compete in bantamweight Grand Prix.

Tonon. Grappling standout Gary Tonon has signed with ONE Championship.


VIDEO STEW

Great fan made promo showing a better way to promote fights.

Hooft on heart.

Free fights.

Conor Jr’s baptism on TMZ.

Chael getting very ASMR, doing commentary over his own sparring footage.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Interviews with Kowalkiewicz, Goddard, Khabib, Lee, Cejudo, Lewis.

Pardon My Take. Dana White gives an interview loosely related to MMA.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Congrats.

Unclear if Jarred Brooks knows the definition of retire.

Fences mended.

USADA.

This exchange is just.... come on.

Saki could be huge for the UFC.

Alright then.

The saga continues.

Hick Diaz says he’s fighting in December against Gabriel Benitez.

Contract is finally here time to grind

A post shared by Jason Knight (@jtkthekid) on

Yair training the mitts on a treadmill.

New Boss Logic.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8); Bellator 185, Oct. 20.

Ian McCall (13-5-1) vs. Manel Kape (7-1); Rizin World Grand Prix, Dec. 29.

Kevin Petshi (13-3) vs. Shintaro Ishiwatari (23-6-4); Rizin World Grand Prix, Dec. 29.

Khalid Taha (11-0) vs. Takafumi Otsuka (23-13-2); Rizin World Grand Prix, Dec. 29.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

1997: Maurice Smith defended his UFC heavyweight title by defeating Tank Abbot at UFC 15. Smith was supposed to face Dan Severn but Abbott was brought in on short notice as Severn suffered a hand injury. In the co-main event, Randy Couture stopped Vitor Belfort with strikes.

This event is also notable as the final event of play-by-play announcer Bruce Beck’s tenure. He would be replaced by Mike Goldberg at the next event.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Wow. 51% to 49% on yesterday’s poll. That’s the closest poll I think we’ve ever had. Obviously, opinions are very split on whether the UFC is putting on too many cards.

Also, in honor of the main event, here is one of the best pieces of writing our fine website has ever published. Well worth a re-read and damn near mandatory if you haven’t already checked it out.

That’s all for today folks. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

What would you prefer to happen next?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Ferguson vs. McGregor, Khabib vs. someone else
    (1022 votes)
  • 24%
    Ferguson vs. Khabib, McGregor vs. Diaz
    (334 votes)
1356 votes total Vote Now

If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting, and like us on Facebook.