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How can anyone really think Conor can beat Mendes? Stunned by hype overriding logic!

I'm seriously shocked by how many knowledgeable fans & pundits are going with McGregor here. I view this as a certain victory for Mendes, and have put (for me) some fairly big money on this.

As a fan of Dustin Poirier, I can readily admit that Conor McGregor is an EXCELLENT fighter. That's beyond question. He's a top 5 calibre featherweight with great wins over Poirier & Holloway, and I'd back him to defeat very good fighters like Lamas, Bermudez & Oliveira. Conor's striking skills, his size, confidence, movement, and above all his ungodly punching power make him a real nightmare for 90-95% of the guys out there at 145. Had Aldo fought with the damaged rib, I think McG would've made some serious Brazilian mincemeat.

However, I really just dont see any way that Conor can defeat Chad Mendes, and I do not understand peoples' basis for thinking otherwise, outwith the small chance that Conor can land a big shot that crumples Mendes, a la the Poirier fight.

For me, there are three critical points that are being naively overlooked by those currently getting high on the Zuffa hypejuice:

1 - Conor McGregor is NOT going to be able to stop Mendes' takedowns

2 - Chad Mendes is so many light years ahead of anyone that McGregor has fought, when you compare the evidence of Chad's and Conor's recent resumes

3 - Mendes' performance in the 2nd Aldo fight tells us so much about his striking abilities AND his toughness

So to briefly elaborate on each point:

1 - It's not only unfair but even rather silly to expect a lanky Irish fighter (ie, not from a wrestling culture/environment) to, NEVER having faced ONE Ufc-calibre wrestler before, to then go straight in (and on short notice! ie, not having based his camp on facing a top offensive wrestler) with one of THE best & strongest all-round wrestlers in MMA. Chad Mendes is not a Diego Sanchez who will chase sloppy takedowns, get fended off all fight long, and just keep on with progressively shoddier attempts. Mendes is an MMA wrestler on the same approximate quality level as the best of the best, such as Jones, Cormier, Nurmagomedov, Weidman, etc. He has never been taken down in MMA, despite facing proven wrestlers like Lentz, Lamas, Guida, & Elkins. Mendes is being horribly, crazily underrated as a wrestler just now, and I assume it's because he was largely unsuccessful in the few attempts he made on Jose Aldo. This is real stupidity. Aldo has arguably the best TDD in MMA, gained over a long career of fighting top-class wrestlers, and Conor cannot even hope to be anywhere close to the same league in this regard. If Mendes is smart and chooses to consistently blast-double Conor in centre-cage while also attempting various other TD techniques, I just cannot envisage how Conor is going to have the TDD know-how or the core strength to resist, not at all.

2 & 3 - Bear with me on this one. You may think I'm talking BS here, but hear me out and then come back to me with facts. I feel that people are of the mindset that Conor wins this fight if it comes to a striking battle purely because he is perceived as a striker and Mendes is perceived as a wrestler. But it's my contention that in fact, Mendes has actually proven to be the higher level striker of the two at this point in time. Conor has looked sensational in beating up Brimage, Brandao, Poirier and Siver on the feet so far, but for me, only Poirier of that group is currently a good striker (Siver is declined, Brimage & Brandao both very flawed), and it was Conor's power and placement that secured the quick win vs Poirier; a method of victory that surely wouldn't have come vs a fighter with better resilience than a possibly weight-weakened Dustin (who is a great talent but with questionable chops).

By comparison, Mendes' striking performance over 5 rounds in Brazil vs Jose Aldo was ing STELLAR, and so much more meaningful evidence of striking prowess than anything Conor has done as yet. To be able to compete with Aldo on an almost-equal level for that fight shows that Mendes is an elite striker in MMA, as most guys can't even be competitive with him at all. That round 4 uppercut was the hardest I've ever seen Aldo hit, and that shot would probably have KO'd every other featherweight in the game. Throw in the complete demolition of proven top 5 calibre Ricardo Lamas and the fact that Mendes was the FIRST man to ever TKO Clay Guida, and I think it's fair to say that, perceptions & generalizations aside, Mendes is actually the more proven high-quality striker. And it wasn't only Mendes' skills that he proved in the Aldo fight, it was some pretty incredible punch resilience and cardio as well. Dropped twice and hurt badly in round 1, Mendes then recovered & roared back to go 5 life-and-death rounds with Aldo in Rio. For me, that was a show of unbelievable composure, toughness, and heart, one that Mendes really doesn't get enough credit for. I consider it perfectly valid to think that Mendes, being the athlete that he is, is going to be too fast and too powerful for McGregor during the portions of the fight that they're standing up.

McGregor's open stance and hands-down style may look electric against Siver and co, but against Mendes, I think he gets lit up. Mendes' speed will shock Conor, and his fans.

--


So basically, I think Mendes wins this fight convincingly no matter where it goes. Even though I'm certain he'll fight the smart fight, the right fight, and will chain takedowns on Conor, and beat him up on the ground. Whenever the fight is standing, I think his quick, tight, powerful boxing will be too much for Conor.

I just think that the UFC giving Conor a very easy route to the title is going to be his undoing. If they'd have given him another 12 or 18 months to fight some fellow top contenders and get experience of different styles and 5-round main events, I'd feel much better about his chances of competing with a proven all-round elite fighter like Mendes. But this fight, coming after a few 1-2 round wins over flawed, non-top-5 fighters is just not giving the guy the chance to accumulate enough Octagon experience at the top end.

Mendes is going to take Conor down repeatedly, work him over on the ground, box him up on the feet, and either get a ref stoppage or a VERY lopsided points decision.

Beatdown Of The Year is my prediction. Please feel free to ridicule and attack me if I am proved horrendously wrong! :-)

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