UFC 189: Conor McGregor backing himself in a big way


UFC rising star Conor McGregor (17-2) will fight for the Interim featherweight title this weekend and being on the bigger stage has done plenty to boost the Irishman’s confidence.

One of the sport’s fastest rising stars, McGregor is undefeated since joining the UFC’s ranks and the ferocious way in which he has disposed of his five opponents so far has him convinced he’ll do a job on Chad Mendes (17-2) at UFC 189.

McGregor was originally scheduled to face champion Jose Aldo but after broken ribs scuppered that plan, Mendes – who last to Aldo in October last year – was drafted in as a replacement.

These last-minute changes could have distracted a lesser man but McGregor, who has secured 15 of his 17 wins via KO or TKO, has promised to add to that tally with a second round stoppage of the Californian.

Speaking to the Jim Rome Show recently UFC president Dana White said: “I can’t even believe I’m going to say this, but, he told [UFC CEO] Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I the other day ‘I’ll bet you $3m I knock him out in the second round.'”

“When I tell you how extremely confident this guy is in himself, it’s fascinating. He is a very unique, fascinating person to listen to. Fun to listen to, and fun to watch.”

The Notorious is on a 12 match win streak dating back to 2011 and with his obvious power and clear physical advantages it’s easy to see where the confidence comes from.

With just nine KOs from the same career length, it’s clear that 5ft6in Mendes, who boasts a reach of just 66 inches, will struggle to impose himself on 5ft9in McGregor, who claims an eight-inch advantage in his own reach.

Mendes will have to get in close and take the fight to McGregor from the off if he is to cause an upset, but at odds of 10/19 it looks like the Irishman is the one to back.

With the man himself confident of a second round stoppage and the fight result market not offering huge returns, the 4/1 about McGregor’s prediction will attract plenty of attention before these men step into the octagon.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.