Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor, the keys to Victory Part 1 of 2

It’s about that time, ladies and gentlemen, for the beast of the featherweight Division to clash. Aside from my usual style breakdown, we’re going to take a look at fighting habits, technical advantages and known vulnerabilities of each fighter.



One of the staples counters in Aldo’s game was the slipping lead hook Aldo often uses.

aldo slip hook - counter
Slipping lead hook
aldo slip hook on chan 2
Slipping lead hook

Aldo needs to watch out using to many slipping movements. His head moves in a dangerous zone where kicks are likely to catch up.

Conor McGregor is a dynamic kicker. He’s an expert at setting up kicks. Against Siver, he managed to counter his very own slipping lead hook

conor counter slip hook
Conor Kicks Siver throwing a counter slipping lead hook


Aldo should opt for better options other than the slipping hook such as the sidestepping check hook. It’s a much better option considering he’ll be moving away from Conor’s power side of the kicks.

aldo sidestep lead pivot hook - lead
Sidestepping lead pivot hook. Aldo creates new angles by pivoting off

The pivoting check hook might be a good option too.

aldo check hook 2 - counter
Check hook

If you haven’t already watched Firas Zahabi speaking about the match up, he suggest that Aldo should use more of his Muay Thai in this fight. That’s some solid advice and we’ll explore that idea. Conor’s kick tend to be linear, so by moving at an angle, you can bypass linear kicks to reach the head and force the fight into punching range. In addition, by moving towards the outside of Conor’s lead foot, Aldo will essentially be smothering Conors back, making his spinning back kick less effective because the lack adequate distance needed for the kick to land.

In muay thai, they have a variety of ways to counter kicks at angles. We’ll see how they can apply to use against Conor. Here are a few methods Demonstrated by Lumpinee champions.

muay thai counter kick with sidestep hook.gif
Sidestep hook to bypass kicks
max sidestep hooks conor.gif
Note Max Moves away from Conor’s power side and counters with a sidestep lead hook

We just mentioned that Aldo has the sidestep lead hook in his arsenal right? He’s also go a pivoting hook too that may work well against Conor.

max check hook counters conors kick
Same as Aldo’s check hook


Another possible move proven to trump Conor is the sidestep Jab. Works fundamentally the same as the sidestep lead hook. Great fro moving outside of the power side and will smoother the back from having range for the spinning back kick.

muay thai sidestep jab counter to kick.gif

Here’s an example of this demonstration working against Conor. The only adjustment I’d make in these examples is moving steeper to smoother Conor’s outside position to only allow punching range, in order to deny that spinning kicking range.

siver sidestep jab counters conor's kick.gif
sidesteps while moving away from the kick’s power side
chad sisteps strikes conor's kick.gif
Sidesteps while moving away from the power side of the kick

To get a strong idea of what it looks like to smoother the spinning back kicks range, look at TJ Dillashaw. TJ spoke how he recognized the kick was coming. Sure enough, TJ darted into a advantageous angle where he smothered Barao’s back, denying him the proper range to land the kick.

TJ lateral step cross shifting double up into left cross.gif
TJ darts away from the spinning kick’s range and smothers the back


At this point, I don’t want to overload you with GIFs so it’s time to continue to the final part 2.

Check out part 2 here:

Aldo vs Conor part 2


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