Though Chad Mendes made Conor McGregor bleed his own blood; he couldn’t beat “The Notorious” in an interim title fight at UFC 189.
Citing a jam-packed two weeks leading up to the main event of UFC 189, which took place on Saturday, July 11, inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, it looked like though Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes could not fight soon enough.
UFC 189 turned out into a box-office blockbuster with “The Notorious” running the show and literally hoisting the pay-per-view on his shoulders, despite division champion Jose Aldo dropping out with an injured rib just days before the show time, MMAMania noted.
In fact, McGregor sold the show, and then he went to close it, winning the interim 145-pound title match via second round technical knockout.
McGregor was so confident about the outcome of the match that he even tried to bet millions of dollars with UFC President Dana White and UFC co-owner and chief executive Lorenzo Fertitta.
“I’ll bet you $3 million I knock him out in the second round,” McGregor told White and Fertitta, predicting the outcome of UFC 189.
That being said, it wasn’t easy though. Mendes controlled the first two rounds with his dominant wrestling. He almost curbed the Irishman for the better part of the match, but it was the moments that they were upright that appeared to do critical damage.
McGregor stopped the No. 2 Mendes at the 4:57 mark of the second frame with an outbreak of punches after spending much of the round on his back, taking hard elbows from Mendes.
Herb Dean, the second referee stepped in to save “Money,” the crowd, 20 percent of who were from Ireland, bombarded the arena’s floor with beer, according to the UFC.
As far as “The Celtic Tiger” is concerned, it was probably the best endings. McGregor who won five straight to earn a title shot, talked a lot of trash and built rivalry with Mendes even before they were scheduled to fight. Mendes, on the other hand promised to put McGregor on his back and punish him, and he did exactly as he promised.
According to reports from MMAJunkie , an early punch opened a significant cut over McGregor’s left eye, but he took the punches and kept coming, jawing at his rival all the time.
The pressure apparently took its toll on the conditioning of Mendes, who had just two weeks to prepare for the fight. Mendes look winded by the end of the first frame, while McGregor didn’t look damaged or worn.
McGregor said that though the weight cut is tough, he can go all night.
“The Notorious” even addressed critics who said he had yet to face a significant test, basically a fighter such as Mendes with solid wrestling pedigree.
“I’ve been hearing all the time that I’m protected from this style of opponent, that I’ve been gifted a title shot. So my title shot went running, and they gave me a guy who I was supposed to be protected from. I knew I was going to prove to people that I’m a true fighter. It doesn’t matter who it is. I show up and I’m a professional and I’m confident in my abilities,” McGregor said afterwards.
McGregor obviously was taking a jab at champ Aldo, who withdrew from UFC 189 with a rib injury and forced the UFC to install Mendes.
“In my opinion, Jose went running,” McGregor said. “I had bigger injuries leading up to this fight than that bruised rib. I still showed up here and performed. So in my eyes, Jose’s gone running. If he wants to come back, he can come back. But I swear to god, his day will come.”
McGregor’s win now sets up a title unification match with the champ.
Though Dana White declined to be specific on the trending PPV buys, he noted the card was one of the best in the company’s history.
“I’ve been telling you guys all week this thing was trending bigger than anything we’ve ever done tonight,” White said. “Tonight, on social media, crushed any fight we’ve ever done. It was a massive event and everybody delivered.”