Watch highlights of the fight at 2:50 mark
There are two main things that the course and the outcome of the UFC 189 main event proves: that Conor is capable of backing all talks he says prior to his fights and that there can be a great fight even when one of the opponents takes it on two weeks notice.
Chad Mendes didn’t look too upset in the cage after the referee’s verdict and it’s easy to understand why. He showed all the best he had, he was in no way Connor’s whipping boy, he was a part of what can very well be the fight of the year at UFC and he did have some chances. Nobody knows what could happen if Mendes didn’t risk it to finish his choke – according to Chad that was the crucial moment which determined the result. The top featherweight wrestler on the UFC roster appeared a tough nut to crack and made McGregor give his opponent a credit at the post-fight presser.
“He’s probably one of the hardest hitters besides me. He’s probably the no. 2 hitter in the division. He’s certainly the best wrestler in the division”, Conor said, emphasizing the fact that he didn’t feel threatened during both rounds. Several minutes before “the Notorious’ entered the presser hall Chad Mendes spoke on his impressions of the opponent: “The guy (Conor McGregor – Double-Knockout) didn’t stop talking s..t the entire time. I was hitting him with everything I had, and the guy was still running his mouth. I mean, that’s Conor I guess. I landed a giant elbow on his face and he says ‘is that all you got?’”
McGregor was not just talking in the cage. In the second round he escaped from the choke trap and sent Mendes to the canvas with a straight left, sealing his win with a series of right punches. This victory, with all that had happened before it – the hype, the world tour, the trash talk, the change of the opponent – adds the fourteenth victory to Conor’s win streak and summarizes one of the craziest years in the Irishman’s career.
“It has been a hell of a ride. Two years I am here, I’ve already broken every single record in the game. It doesn’t come easy. Trust me when I tell you there’s a lot of work about it. It’s not just about showing up at the gym. It’s not just about that, you know there s a lot involved. I’ve been home nineteen days this year and I’ve been constantly working, constantly promoting, constantly handling my media obligations as well as keeping on top of my weight, as well as keeping on top of my skill, as well as managing injuries – trust, it’s a crazy game. And you know, I absolutely love it”, Conor said at the presser.