Since Mendes was taken out by McGregor on July 11th, he’s repeatedly argued that things would have been different, if he had a full camp for the bout. As you surely know, Mendes was winning the bout thanks to his wrestling and top game, but McGregor defended a choke attempt in round two and then finished the fight with strikes.
Well, recently “Money” appeared on “Submission Radio” to talk about his December 11th fight with Frankie Edgar, and of course, he was asked about McGregor. Here is some of what Mendes had to say about the scrap and his cardio for it (quotes via Bloody Elbow.com):
“When I’m prepared, my cardio is never an issue. It never has been. There’s been one other fight with [Nik] Lentz, where I was sick and fought through it, and still beat that guy, who in my opinion would destroy Conor. So you’re always gonna get those people who are talking shit. And I don’t think my cardio is an issue. It never has been. I took that fight on short-notice, and that’s why it was an issue in that fight.”
“I train a proper fight, I kill Conor. And I don’t think my conditioning is gonna be a problem in this fight (against Edgar).”
Now of course, McGregor supporters will likely scoff at the comments regarding Lentz, but clearly Mendes doesn’t believe that “Notorious’ has the wrestling or ground game needed to defeat high level grapplers. Lentz doesn’t have the striking and power that Mendes has, but his wrestling and top game are definitely top tier.
It’s also worth noting that McGregor has reported that a serious, pre-fight knee injury impacted his preparation for UFC 189 as well. His coach, John Kavanagh, has also said that McGregor wasn’t able to do any live wrestling sparring prior to the fight.
It’s going to be interesting to see what unfolds when Jose Aldo and McGregor square off on December 12th. Could Aldo look for a takedown?