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Morning Report: Joe Rogan says Conor McGregor is the best featherweight ever

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UFC 200 - Weigh-in Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

This past Saturday at UFC 212, the MMA world welcomed a new 145-pound kingpin when interim champion Max Holloway stopped champion Jose Aldo in the third round of the main event, unifying the featherweight titles. To many, it was a passing of the torch moment for the division, among those, UFC commentator Joe Rogan.

On his Fight Companion podcast during the event, Rogan opined that this was the natural course of MMA and that the new breed of fighter, Holloway, was ushering out the old, Aldo, and beginning a new era.

“Jose’s devastated. He’s devastated. It is what it is. This is fighting, people win and people lose. The sport, ultimately, it depends upon these sort of fights. It depends upon these all-time greats, like Aldo, facing some guy who’s got the solution to what that guy presents and that’s what Aldo did tonight. He went out there with all of his championship mettle and he laid it all on the line and he fought his best and his puzzle got solved by the new breed. . .

“Max Holloway beat the s**t out of him. He beat him in a way that no one’s ever beat him. Conor [McGregor] only beat him because he caught him. Max Holloway beat him down. He beat him down.”

The loss to Holloway was only the third of his career and is a first of sorts for Aldo. Early in his career, Aldo suffered a submission loss and in 2015, now UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor knocked Aldo out in thirteen seconds at their infamous title fight; however, this fight was the first one in which Aldo suffered a sustained beating, taking heavy ground strikes for the better part of the third round until the bout was finally stopped.

If it truly was the end of the Aldo era, the long-time featherweight champion leaves a controversial legacy atop the sport. Despite lording over the division for six years, some, including Rogan, view Aldo’s title reign as tarnished by the last couple of years and the emergence of new talent. Last week, Rogan suggested that Aldo’s legacy would be forever tainted by the loss to McGregor and after the Holloway loss, Rogan doubled down, declaring McGregor the greatest featherweight in history.

“[McGregor]’s the best ever. You have to say he’s the best ever even if he never fights featherweight again. Why? Because he KO’d the best ever. The reality is, Aldo’s the best ever but Conor KO’d him. You couldn’t say without the Aldo fight that Conor was the best ever because if you look at all the different people that both of them fought, you’re like ‘wow it’s really close, it’s really interesting, but Aldo has more fights.’ But then once they actually fight, that’s it. That’s all that matters. So you’ve got to give it to him.

“People will fight against it, ‘No, because Aldo was the champion for so many years.’ You’re 100-percent right. His body of work is much more impressive and there’s always going to be an asterisk next to Conor because that was just this one time he fought for the title at 145 [pounds], KO’d Aldo, and was like ya’ll be cool, I’m out of here.”

McGregor left the 145-pound division to chase money fights with Nate Diaz at welterweight and a lightweight title shot. He was stripped of the featherweight title shortly after winning the lightweight belt at UFC 205. McGregor never defended his featherweight title and appears to have left the division for good as he chases ever bigger game.

Jose Aldo was the WEC featherweight champion and then the UFC champion when Zuffa merged the two entities. He held the title from Nov. 18, 2009 until Dec. 12, 2015. After his loss to McGregor, he defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 for the interim featherweight title and was promoted to undisputed champion once again on Nov. 26, 2016. All totaled, Jose Aldo held the featherweight title collectively a total of 2037 days and successfully defended the belt nine times.


MUST-READ STORIES

Results. UFC 212 took place over the weekend and here are all the results.

Hall of Fame. Pride legend Kazushi Sakuraba will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.

Beg. Max Holloway says Conor McGregor can “beg to fight me now.”

Weight. Claudia Gadelha says she “killed my body” for fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Ugh. Reinventing himself at Tristar, Vitor Belfort says he has five fights left in him.

Lawsuit. Mark Hunt’s lawsuit continues on with an amended complaint.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 212 post-fight show.

Free fight.

Sakuraba’s HOF highlight package.

LFA 13 highlights.

Double TTTHS.

Cruz wants the rematch.


LISTEN UP

The Naked Truth. Instant post-fight reaction with a lot of anger mixed in.

6th Round. UFC 212 recap and reaction.

Beatdown After the Bell. UFC 212 recap and reaction.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Awesome.

Cool poster.

I mean, I’m pretty sure Max has been believing his hype.

Chuck just messing with us but Tito goes over the top.

Why not?

A post shared by Chuck Liddell (@chuckliddell) on

And then Chuck beat the hell out of him just like when they fought.

Perfect.

Killing it.

Weird fight but certainly not a bad one.

PREACH.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

N/A.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2009: Joe Soto became the inaugural Bellator featherweight champion, submitting Yahir Reyes by rear-naked choke at Bellator 10.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Damn, man. Jose Aldo showed his class for 10 minutes but it seems pretty apparent to me that he’s on a sharp physical decline and that his chin is gone. And for those Conor folks who say “Conor took it” nah. Conor helped it go, for sure, but I think Mendes and gym wars took it. Think about it. Conor hits really hard, but he still doesn’t really one-hitter-quitter people. Sleeping Aldo like that seems to be a combination of Aldo’s chin fading and Conor hitting hard and accurately.

Regardless, seems safe to say that Jose is done as a title holder so long as Max is around. I hope he retires. Most fighters walk away far too late and though Aldo can certainly beat most fighters still, I’d rather he go out now then watch his decline start really making his performances less good. He’s 30 and ostensibly has money. Hang ‘em up and move on to the next phase of your life.

Anyway, back for another fight week everybody. Take it easy and see y’all tomorrow.


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