Conor McGregor’s win streak in the UFC now includes a victory over the number one ranked Chad Mendes, as he blasted the former NCAA wrestler in the second round of their UFC 189 showdown. The interim title was the prize for the victor, although ‘Money’ did provide a ton of resistance, it was eventually in vain. McGregor secured the win with his precise and devastating striking techniques, slowly but surely wearing down his very game foe.
A few takedowns were scored for the Team Alpha Male product, he also landed some nasty elbows that opened a cut, but McGregor tells Shaun Al-Shatti of MMAFighting during the UFC 189 presser that he felt nothing:
“He has heavy shots, he’s put people away, but I didn’t feel nothing, I don’t feel anything when these featherweights hit me. I feel like a concrete block. I have no ill feelings against Chad,”
“When we left the stage [on Friday], I was thinking in my head, you know, he’s playing the game here. He thinks it’s a game, but really, this is no game here. I said to myself after the weigh-ins, ‘tomorrow night there will be no bouncing around. We’re going to be face to face and we’ll see then.’ So when we came face to face [on Saturday], I said to him, ‘let’s see who takes a back-step now. Let’s see who takes the first back-step now.’ So I marched forward, and he took the first back-step. Then that was the fight.”
In what has turned out to be a fitting finish to McGregor’s race to a title fight with Jose Aldo, the Irish boxer proved he can get back up from the takedowns of a dominant wrestler, but also that he can survive adversity at the highest levels of competition. These are qualities that true champions possess. He continued:
“[Mendes] secured one or two takedowns, but again, I knew the efficient man prevails,” McGregor said. “In a fight to the death, where there is no clock or no time limit, the man who is efficient is the man who prevails. So when I was on the mat, I was patient. I landed shots when I could, I stayed safe.
“He might have thrown an overhand. He threw an elbow that split me on the eye. That was one. But then every other one was glancing, and every shot I was like, ‘eh-eh.’ That’s what I kept saying. ‘Nope. Nope. Eh-eh.’ So I felt I was preserving energy, being efficient. Then when the opportunity arose to go back to the feet, I attacked the gut.
“Them teeps to the gut, them side kicks to the gut, they don’t look like much,” McGregor continued. “To the naked eye, they don’t look like much. Only me and him know about it. Only me and the opponent know about it. But they suck rounds out of you. So that’s what happened. His body, he was searching for his gas tank, and I was stabbing him in the gas tank. Then the straight shots landed, the roundhouse, the spinning kicks. I felt the fight went exactly as I said it would, like they usually do.”
So once again the SBG (Straight Blast Gym) interim champ calls how the fight will end, and also the round. Having already drawn comparisons to Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali from Daniel Cormier, and now it seems the sky is truly the limit. The fate of the featherweight division just got a little bit more interesting.
Now we await news from the Nova Uniao camp…..