Following a trash talk-laden presser and a minor dustup during the weigh-in, Conor McGregor and Chad Mendes will enter the octagon with the interim UFC featherweight title on the line Saturday night at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
During Friday’s weigh-in, Mendes actually charged McGregor when his back was turned, but UFC president Dana White was able to keep them separated. It was a charged moment that adds some fuel to the fight, but it really comes down to styles more than hype.
Now up to UFC 189, the bout’s been called the biggest in the mixed martial arts world of late, hyped because of McGregor’s braggadocio ways and for the fighters’ contrasting styles. The 26-year-old McGregor is a vicious knockout artist going toe-to-toe with a Mendes, who is a superior wrestler and grappler.
Since McGregor made his UFC debut in 2013, he’s spent the last two years pummeling opponents with five straight victories, four by knockout by the second round.
McGregor’s made it no secret what he thinks of Mendes and guaranteed a first-round knockout while trying to place a bet with White for $3 million.
Verbally laying into his opponents is nothing new for McGregor, a slick-talking Irishman who knows how to sell a fight, but Mendes does serve as a significant roadblock to McGregor’s meteoric rise to UFC’s peak.
A member of Team Alpha Male, Mendes started his career as a two-time All-American wrestler in college and has shown some knockout power of his own. Other than his two losses to Jose Aldo, Mendes has gone 8-2 in UFC with five knockouts.
Actual Start Time: The telecast starts at 10 p.m. ET, but McGregor and Mendes won’t enter the ring until around 11:55 p.m. ET
Pay-Per-View Info: You can order the PPV on cable or satellite at UFC.com
Live Online: UFC TV is also available at the main site.
Betting Odds: McGregor -190, Mendes +155
Prediction: His striking power and precision is just too strong, and McGregor will win with a second-round knockout.