UFC 189 Main Event Favors McGregor

The storm that is the hype for this Saturday night’s UFC 189 main event of Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes is finally about to hit. We’re 48 hours out from fight night, and McGregor is already saying that he’s number one. Here’s how most everyone else sees the bout could go down…

Even with equal overall records (McGregor: 17-2 with 15 KOs, Mendes: 17-2 with seven KOs, two submissions, and eight Ds), McGregor is the -190 favorite according to OddsShark.com via SB Nation with Mendes paying +155 on an upset. Also mentioned on SB, “Notorious” is three inches taller and will have a reach advantage of eight inches on his side over “Money”. Additionally, McGregor’s current stats on his UFC profile show him landing 58 percent of his strikes and 42 percent of his takedowns based on five fights.

​Mendes’ numbers read as 26 percent striking, a 63 percent takedown success rate, and a submission percentage of 12 based on 14 fights, which is probably a sign the Irish “truth talker” wants to stay off the mat. It then all comes back to what I wrote about 189 previously, those 15 KOs by McGregor can’t be ignored and are why I expect him to keep the fight on the feet, but Mendes is 6-1 through seven with five KO/TKO first round finishes.

Only considering recent records, I think it could be even when standing, but Mendes is wrestler first and foremost.

Need for a McGregor win: The Irishmen is carrying an entire country on his back, so beyond himself, I'm betting McGregor may think a win on July 11 will put his homeland in the spotlight. He also needs to win to prove that he is the real deal, that his mic skills helped push him into the top tier of the UFC, but aren’t the only reason he is there. Then he needs to move on to Jose Aldo and tackle an undisputed championship bout to really make naysayers sit down.

Need for a Mendes win: The fill-in for Aldo needs a win almost as much as McGregor so that he can continue to prove he can get finishes. He NEEDS to get a KO (if he does, that will even up that stat with his decision wins, which make up roughly half his record). He needs to get a shot at Aldo for the belt as much as he needs to beat Aldo to redeem himself. A potential title fight between the two could create a trilogy with a movie-style ending with the underdog finally holding up the belt while on the shoulders of those that helped him reach the top of the mountain.

Reason for a McGregor win: Conditioning says it all. Not that Chad Mendes is out of shape or anything or has a history of not making weight, but he is filling in on roughly two weeks notice. The UFC 189 World Tour press conference was in March, so McGregor has been preparing at least since that time. His plan of attack has for the most part remained the same despite the opponent change. He knew he was fighting.

According to UFC Pick ‘Em: 35% for Mendes (probability of KO/TKO: 52%) / 65% for McGregor (KO/TKO: 90%)

My Result: McGregor by KO/TKO - Round 2