Chad Mendes has opened up about his fight with Conor McGregor at UFC 189 and he has some interesting things to say.
Mendes took the fight at two weeks notice after Jose Aldo withdrew late on. Despite a promising start to the fight, the American appeared to tire in the second round and McGregor capitalised and eventually won, recording a KO win.
In the immediate aftermath, Mendes appeared to be full of admiration of McGregor. However, it seems as time has gone by, he's grown more bitter of the Dubliner.
Mendes, speaking to Submission Radio ahead of his fight with Frankie Edgar on December 11th opened up about UFC 189 and said that any questions over his fitness are extremely wide of the mark, and that allegations he took a dive are downright disrespectful.
Hearing people say I got paid off or I took a dive, I'm just like c'mon, this isn't boxing in the 80's, this is MMA. This is how I make my living. There's no amount of money in this world that could pay me off or take a dive, especially against a guy like Conor McGregor.
When you're getting in a cage and fighting another top athlete, two weeks is not enough. People are telling me I'm making excuses and that I was in great shape, yeah I'm in great shape, for a human, for a normal civilian, I'd like to see you get in there and fight another guy for 25 minutes.
Chad was then quizzed on whether his conditioning was good enough to beat Frankie Edgar in December. And he used the opportunity to christen McGregor's legion of fans with a lovely new nickname.
The only people questioning my condition are Conor McGregor nuthangers. They only say that because he said that, look at my fight with Aldo, he's one of the best pound for pound fighters around and I went five rounds with him and pushed the pace the entire time.
When I'm prepared, my cardio is never an issue. It never has been. There's been one other fight with Lentz, where I was sick and fought through it, and still beat that guy, who in my opinion would destroy Conor.
Speaking about any future rematch with McGregor he had this to say:
I took that fight on short notice and that's why that [his cardio] was an issue, If I train for a proper fight I'd kill Conor.
The guy doesn't have much off his back. And me in shape, I'm able to bounce around on the feet, stay light on my feet, take him down whenever I want. I feel like I could beat that guy just with the cardio alone with my wrestling.
Mendes certainly impressed for short spells during UFC 189 and looked tired towards the end, but McGregor himself said he was struggling with injury in the lead up to the fight. He would have also had to alter his training two weeks out to prepare for Chad. If McGregor wins at UFC 194, it would be great to see him take on a fully fit Mendes again.