Current Interim UFC Featherweight Champion, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor (18-2) recently acquired the strap when he took out 3 time title challenger, Chad Mendes in the 2nd round via TKO at UFC 189. Conor believes that fight wasn’t as tough as most saw.
“To the naked eye it seemed like a tough contest, and I get a giggle out of supposed experts in the field of fighting when they speak of his two-week training camp or his lack of preparation,” McGregor said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “To the trained eye, you understand what you are witnessing. You are witnessing ruthless bodywork – ruthless body shooting where I teeped him into his windpipe. I cracked him into his ribs, and every time those shots dug in deep, they take rounds of you. There is no coming back from clean bodywork. It can render you useless and that’s what happened.
“He came out, I butchered his body, I rearranged his intestines, I stayed safe on the bottom when we were in those positions, I elbowed the top of his crown, I done damage and remained efficient then I rose to my feet, went back to the work on the body then his body gave up at that time. Then I punched his jaw across his face. To the trained eye, it was a ruthless performance by me. It was clinical bodywork, which was the deciding factor in the fight. It does not matter if he had a 100-week camp. It would not have made any difference. Me and him know the shape his body was in during those exchanges.”
“Another reason I went to work on his body was because of Jose Aldo’s weak body,” McGregor said. “I knew his ribs were in pain, so I wanted to hit Chad’s body knowing that Jose was sitting under the duvet peaking above his duvet covers watching the fight, trembling as every shot to the body landed. It was another reason why I lit up his body.”
Conor calls out those that don’t understand the true aspects of the sport of MMA, and he goes into detail of his relationship with partial owner of the UFC, Lorenzo Fertita.
“It just reiterates what I know, that there is many, many bums in this business that do not understand the true meaning of fighting,” McGregor said. “I feel a lot of these people are brought up on sport; sport fighting where to score a point or gain an advantage is a victory. I was brought up where if I do not defend these strikes from these six individuals that are attacking me in this situation, I will not live to see another day. That is my upbringing to their upbringing where they score a takedown and it’s a success.
“I felt he entered the contest and all he wanted was to get takedown. For him and for the American fans and his team, they just wanted to see that takedown. That was victory for them. But it is not victory. In a fight to death, a takedown means absolutely nothing. So that is how I approach the game.”
“I will handle my business as I feel fit,” McGregor said. “Lorenzo’s my business partner and we have a phenomenal relationship, but I do not tell him how to run the UFC, so he should not tell me how to run the fight game. Not yet I don’t tell him how to run the UFC, mind you. The reason I went in and spoke to Chad a lot was because I felt during the weigh in for instance, when we came out and were supposed to look at each other eye-to-eye, face-to-face and he was bouncing around clapping to the fans and screaming. I could sense that he was playing a game. I said to Dana when we were up on that stage at the weigh-in, ‘Let’s just go face-to-face so I can look him in the eye.’ He was not prepared to do that so I just knew when the fight came around and there was no one where to run and we would have to go face-to-face and man-to-man that I would speak to him.
“I spoke to him and I said, ‘Let’s see who takes a back step now. Let’s see who takes the first back step now when this bell rings.’ Then the bell rings and he didn’t come out of his corner. I marched across, I cracked him with a spinning back kick then I lit him up on the feet and I spoke to him. That’s when I begin my ruthless bodywork and I could sense after the first teep to the gut that it was done. It took the wind out of his sails and I spoke to him. I said, ‘ Are you done already?’ Then the fight progressed and he panicked into a takedown. He scored a takedown and in his mind that’s all he needed. Then he was throwing his shots and I would speak to him and say, ‘You hit like a girl. You hit like a little girl.’ Then every time he threw a shot and it glanced, I would say, ‘Nope.’ Then that was it.
“I was having fun in there and I have fun in there. I like to speak as I go about my business. I predicted I would knock him out inside two rounds. I placed a bet with my business partners; a multi-seven-figure bet that Chad would not escape the second round. Low and behold, when McGregor predicts something, the prediction comes true. That’s what happens.”
Conor looks back on how big of a success that the pay-per-view was on the numbers side of things, and stakes his claim as the best in the division.
“The previous fight was the biggest event in UFC history,” McGregor said. “(It was a) $7.2 million gate, cleared 1 million pay-per-view buys, it slots very high on the list of highest MGM (Grand Garden Arena) gates just below Mike Tyson and Juan Manuel Marquez. It also beat that pay-per-view number. So that was a tremendous event and one of the biggest, if not the biggest in history. So it’s only right. We don’t stay the same. We don’t go backwards, we always go forwards. That’s what my business partner Mr. Lorenzo Fertitta always says. We don’t stay in the same spot. You move up levels. So the next level would be a big football stadium, which is in discussions. Dallas Stadium there has been rumors there over the years that the UFC will hold and event there if they can get a fighter of my magnitude, or a fighter of that magnitude that can generate them numbers. It has always been rumors, but now they have me. Now we have the numbers and now is the time to strike on this if they are gonna do it, but if it is there it is there, if it’s in Vegas it’s in Vegas. Make no mistake about it, it will the biggest event in UFC history. As will every single fight that I am involved in from hereon in.
“I am now the world champion. You claim it’s the interim champion, but Jose went running. Jose’s a scared little man who did not show up to fight and sat under his covers praying for Chad Mendes to win. His whole team were praying for Chad Mendes to win so he would not face me. But his prayers went unanswered and I dominated and won. Now I am the featherweight world champion of the UFC. We will schedule a fight against Jose in the future and see how it plays out. Hopefully he stops running and man’s up and let’s do this damn fight.”