Frankie Edgar was pretty “surprised” that the UFC went with Chad Mendes, instead of him as a replacement for Jose Aldo, and it sounds like Conor McGregor’s coach was too.
After the UFC announced that Mendes was on standby, following the news that Aldo had injured his ribs, Edgar outlined why he believed the shot should have been his. The former lightweight champ has won four straight since he was decisioned by Aldo, while Mendes is just one fight removed–a stoppage win over Ricardo Lamas–from his second loss to the featherweight champ.
Recently McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, appeared on the “MMA Hour”, and while discussing the UFC’s decision to go with Mendes, he stated this (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I think [Edgar] has had a tougher lead up,” Kavanagh said. “He had four wins against tougher opposition than Mendes has faced. I guess the Mendes fight, the bad blood, the angle of it. I’m sure it was a tight decision to go between the No. 1 and the No. 2.”
Of course, none of this really matters at this point, but it will be interesting to see what kind of buzz Aldo-Mendes III generates, if the latter defeats McGregor…If McGregor wins the interim belt on July 11th, then obviously the unification bout with Aldo will be massive.
Since the change has been made, there’s understandably been a lot of talk about how Mendes matches up against McGregor, on account of the contender’s wrestling pedigree etc. Kavanagh maintains that McGregor is all about going with the flow.
“I still think people don’t get really get how Conor is,” Kavanagh said. “I’m genuinely saying this: He would fight both of those guys in the same night. It’s all he’s interested in is fighting, whether it’s training for it or competing in it or reading about it or studying it or watching it or talking about it. It’s one thing that has taken up his life.”
Mendes-McGregor may not move as many pay-per-views, but it’s still a compelling fight. No question.
UFC 189 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.