UFC 189: Conor McGregor Says he Was Never Hurt, “I Ate Everything he Had”
By FCF Staff
Conor McGregor absorbed plenty of hard shots during his memorable fight at UFC 189 on Saturday, but the new interim featherweight champ claims he was never hurt by Chad Mendes.
During the opening round, both men landed telling strikes during stand-up exchanges, but Mendes also took McGregor down and landed punishing shots from above. Then in round two, Mendes took McGregor down once more, and again, hit him with several more hard punches and elbows.
It looked as though McGregor was about to fall behind 0-2 in rounds, before Mendes went for a choke, and “Notorious” escaped. With the fight back on its feet, McGregor proceeded to rock Mendes with punches and end the fight.
After the card, McGregor spoke with FOX Sports 1, and when asked if at any point he was hurt by Mendes, the brash fighter said (quote via FOX Sport 1 press release):
“I was not rocked. I ate everything he had. I don’t feel anything when they hit me. He cut me when he was on top, but his shots from guard were nothing. I was doing more to him. I felt I dominated the fight. I knew my power and pressure was too much for him.”
It was a thrilling comeback win for McGregor, but at the same time, many will say Mendes exposed some holes in McGregor’s game. The feared striker never threatened Mendes while working off his back, and the latter was able to take him down, several times.
In addition, Mendes took the fight on short notice, and the perennial contender believes that played a factor in his defeat. While discussing the loss with FOX Sports 1, Mendes stated:
“I got tired. Conor’s tough. He’s got long punches. I felt like I was controlling it. But I pooped out. I’d like to do it with a full camp. I felt like I couldn’t move my feet at the end. He’s a good fighter. I’ve watched. He can take some punches and he has a good chin. It was a good game plan to get on top. It just got out of control at the end.”
Now McGregor is expected to face reigning champion Jose Aldo sometime later this year.
UFC 189 went down at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.