Conor McGregor remains undefeated in the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Conor McGregor sent a message to his doubters with a straight left hand.
McGregor stopped Chad Mendes with second-round punches to capture the interim Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight crown in the UFC 189 headliner on July 11 before a raucous pro-Irish crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Mendes, who accepted the bout as a short-notice replacement for injured champion Jose Aldo, wilted 4:57 into round two.
McGregor dealt with the first significant adversity since arriving in the UFC. Mendes secured four takedowns, opened a cut near his right eye with a slashing elbow and piled on the punishment with ground-and-pound from inside guard. McGregor bided his time, and Mendes made a tactical error late in the second round, as he surrendered top position while fishing for a guillotine choke. McGregor escaped to his feet, uncorked a series of accurate punches, dropped the fatigued Team Alpha Male standout with a straight left and polished off his 14th consecutive victory with unanswered rights to a turtled Mendes.
“I didn’t feel threatened,” McGregor said at the post-fight press conference. “Besides me, he’s probably the No. 2 heaviest hitter in the division. He’s certainly the best wrestler in the division. They try and find holes. They try and find questions that I’ve yet to answer. They try and find something that’s gonna break me: the weight cut, the wrestler. There’s always something but I always prevail, and I am always confident that I can take whatever these people give. I can walk through everything.”
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