It was only a few weeks ago that the MMA (mixed martial arts) world was debating who would be the UFC interim featherweight champion at UFC 189. After six months of watching the promotion hype the ill-fated title fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, we were eventually left with late replacement Chad Mendes after ‘Scarface’ was injured and the rest is now history.
‘The Notorious’ earned the junior strap with a second round TKO over ‘Money’, and in the process lined himself with a TUF 22 showdown with Urijah Faber. The pairing doesn’t follow The Ultimate Fighter tradition of having the coaches face each other in the UFC octagon at the season’s conclusion, but it does continue the trend of McGregor’s rivalry with Team Alpha Male. The California based fight team has their bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw looking to settle his rivalry with former champion Renan Barao this coming Saturday (July 25th, 2015) in the main event of UFC On FOX 16.
‘The Viper’ spoke to MMAJunkie.com about McGregor and Faber’s TUF gig, and says he would like a fight with the Irish star somewhere down the line:
“I’m sure everyone would love this fight, but I would love to fight Conor McGregor after he fought my teammate and beat my teammate (Chad Mendes). I would love that fight. He’s the interim champion of the world, I don’t know when him and (Jose) Aldo are going to fight, that’s probably going to be next, but I would love to fight that guy as well.”
“After my fight I’m probably going to go out there and help Urijah for a couple weeks; I want to help some of the guys and help motivate,” Dillashaw said. “I’m interested to see how it goes down. I’m sure it will be very interesting knowing who Conor is. I’m sure he’s going to talk a lot and it’s going to make some good TV. It’s going to be entertaining to see.”
Entertaining is likely, and it all pretty much stems from the UFC 189 weigh-ins ‘confrontation‘. On the subject of McGregor’s win over Mendes in Las Vegas, ‘Killashaw’ believes it was purely the short notice that meant ‘Money’ gassed out so quickly, and believes his stable mate would win next time around:
“My biggest worry was Chad’s cardio for that fight; he had the skills to beat that guy, I just hoped his cardio would hold up,” Dillashaw said. “Chad has had a little bit of issues with his cardio when he has a full camp. He took this fight on 10 days. I was hoping he could push through it, but he still showed big holes in Conor’s game. Chad with a full camp would have won that fight.”
Was Chad Mendes at 100%? Probably not, but he took the fight and you can’t really downplay McGregor’s win when he didn’t decide on his opponent. With Frankie Edgar calling out more often for a fight with McGregor, we may still get to see a wrestler with a full camp take on the SBG (Straight Blast Gym) prospect, but now with another champ calling out C-McG, ‘The Answer’ may have another challenger suddenly jump him in the race.
As well as his recent support for Jose Aldo in his apparent battle with his employers, Dillashaw has been quite vocal this week. His rematch with Nova Uniao rival Renan Barao has been long-awaited, after a delay caused by ‘Baron’ pulling out of his UFC 177 rematch due to fainting before hitting the scales. A potential third fight with his Brazilian counterpart lays on the horizon if Barao beats Dillashaw this weekend, and maybe a superfight with McGregor too, if the Irish star can get past his eventual unification bout with Aldo.
A lot will be decided in the main event this coming Saturday.