Brendan Schaub: ‘I think Conor McGregor is terrified right now’
Conor McGregor and his camp have insisted that the opponent change from Jose Aldo to Chad Mendes at this week’s UFC 189 hasn’t fazed the featherweight in the least. On the latest episode of The Fighter and The Kid podcast, however, co-host and UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub says that the truth is likely that McGregor wanted no part of Mendes.
"I think he’s terrified," he says.
"I think the one fight that he did not want — it happened."
Schaub explained the fact that Mendes the wrestler is so different a fighter than Aldo the striker means McGregor will face a completely different challenge on Saturday in Las Vegas than he had been preparing for, for months. Additionally, Mendes’ power punching and wrestling skills make him the best fighter McGregor has ever faced, according to "The Hybrid."
"Every fight Conor has had has been a great matchup for him. This is the first fight where you’re like, ‘Oh….’ You’re talking about the No. 1 ranked guy in the world, and there’s a reason why Conor McGregor leapfrogged him for a title shot. Chad Mendes is a nightmare for him," he said.
"The thing about Conor is he does get hit in fights. He does get hit. Who is the hardest hitter in the division? Chad Mendes. So, if he hits ya, it’s not going to be as much fun as getting hit by Dennis Siver and Diego Brandao."
Despite his public bravado, Schaub says that McGregor and his team likely tried to get out of UFC 189 after Aldo pulled out with injured ribs. "I don’t give a fu– what his camp says, what the media says, I promise you they put up a fight not to fight Chad Mendes. I promise you they did," he said.
"I would bet my entire life savings that his camp was like, ‘nope,’ and the UFC said, ‘this is what we’ve got. You’re taking this fight. Jose backed out. Conor, you have to take this fight.’
Schaub thinks the world of McGregor, but simply believes that Mendes is a bad match up for the Dubliner. Schaub agrees with Kenny Florian that Mendes is so dangerous because he uses his takedowns to set up his big punches.
"How is Conor going to react when he’s down two rounds to nothing? All the sh– he does, I love it, man. I’m a Conor fan. You know this. I love the guy, so this is not a knock on Conor," he began.
"But, I don’t know how he’s going to react when he’s getting punched in the face, he’s on the bottom of half guard and things are not pretty. You’re not on your feet doing…cool kicks. The crowd is going ‘oh sh–. Everything we thought is happening right now. Chad is grinding him out, taking him down.’ Now you’re down three rounds. How are you going to respond?"
If Schaub were a betting man, he believes that McGregor will respond by getting faked out by a takedown attempt, then knocked out by a Mendes right hand. "I bet you see Chad end this fight via TKO by a fake shot with a huge overhand right," he predicted.
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