UFC 189-Conor McGregor crumbles an exhausted Chad Mendes to win the interim featherweight title in Jose Aldo’s absence, emerging the victor from the huge pay-per-view main event in a blaze of glory. The win didn’t come without adversity though, as McGregor was taken down by the better wrestler and opened up by some sharp elbows on the ground.
Now the Irish star has a unification bout at UFC 194 to look forward to, but many people are still talking about how he got controlled on the ground by ‘Money’. One of those people is SBG Dublin (Straight Blast Gym) coach John Kavanagh, who tells MMAJunkie.com that it was all part of the game in Vegas:
“Walking out for the Mendes fight, with it being so short (notice), I was curious to see how it would go, I wasn’t surprised at the few takedowns that were hit,” said Kavanagh. “If you’re going to be facing someone at that level, and you’re shocked that you’re taken down, well that’s actually what induces the panic. That’s what makes you tired. But if that’s just part of the game, and you’re not worried, and once you understand that the general flow of the fight is going the right way. … But yeah, that fight was interesting.”
The eventual finish was a trademark combo of punches by McGregor, who had spent much of the time standing throwing front kicks to Mendes’ abdomen. It wasn’t long after the fight before the news emerged that ‘The Notorious’ would coach opposite Urijah Faber on The Ultimate Fighter 22, a show that Kavanagh feels he can’t help but watch for the tension between the two stars:
“He fought (at UFC 189) on the Saturday, and then started filming on the Wednesday, it wasn’t a long turnaround. He is really enjoying the experience, in there with Faber. At the start there was a bit of tension, so it’s gonna be hard not to watch it now to see what goes on.”
Finally Kavanagh speaks on the level of trash talk from his student, something he attributes to McGregor’s life among Irish friends who love a bit of banter:
“It’s not that unusual for Irish guys to make fun of each other. You get quick witted fast because guys are gonna have a crack, and he’s the first guy like us that got to a high level in sport. Maybe it’s a Dublin thing.”
McGregor’s razor sharp wit will probably go in to overdrive as we close in on the UFC 194 main event, but will he be writing too many checks for his ass to cash? None of the talk will matter once the octagon door closes, unless of course the champion has ‘The Notorious’ in his head and under his skin after such a long feud.