It's been a while since anybody has thought about UFC 189. It was one of the biggest UFC events of all time, and Conor McGregor's most highly anticpated bout.
That is, it's been a while since anyone other than Chad Mendes has thought about that night. The American fighter, who replaced Jose Aldo with a week's notice, has admitted that he hasn't stopped thinking about the fight:
It's something I still think about. Sometimes [I] lay in bed still thinking about it. It's definitely going to take some time to get over it, but you know, that's just part of the game.
Speaking to MMA Hour on Fox Sports, Mendes still thinks he's a better fighter than McGregor, and thinks he was on top before he faded. Mendes puts that down to his shortened preparation, but doesn't want to make excuses about it:
It hurts to watch. I'm not making excuses. I'm not sitting here saying that's the reason why I lost. But, I feel that if I am completely prepared for that fight, I win that fight. Every single time.
Anyone who can move around and stay light on their feet and take this dude down wins that fight every single time. I just, after scrambling around, and fighting for the amount of time that I did, I just wasn't able to get back to my feet and be light on my feet.
I truly believe that if I was able to keep that bounce in my step and move my feet, keep that footwork going, that I wouldn't have been tagged and the round would've ended. We would've gone back and round three would've been just like round two. So it sucks. I think that's the hardest part, because I know I can beat this guy, and I was so close.
He had won over the respect of McGregor for stepping in so late, and while some might say Mendes is being disrespectful about this now, he may have just highlighted one of McGregor's biggest flaws, giving the Notorious time to work on it before the even more highly anticipated Aldo fight.
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