“The Grappler with better footwork and strength versus The Striker who is longer creative with unknown grappling”
Damn damn damn, the McGregor Aldo fight is off. The fight Ive and every other fight fan has been waiting for I will not bore you with my conspiracy theories here but I will break down the new challenge in front of Conor. Many already know that Chad Mendes will take Aldo’s place in this contest for the UFC interim title at 145. But who is Mendes to Conor is a bigger deal in my eyes Mendes is the wrestler the UFC didn’t want the cash cow, that Conor is facing before he fought Ald. In my opinion that’s why this fight is a interim title fight and not just a five round main event. But the history between these two isn’t just from an organizational standpoint were Dana didn’t want Conor to face a real threat oh no no no. Chad Money Mendes is Team Alpha Males alpha athlete with something to prove.
When Duane Bandg Ludwig got to Califonia to train that Team Alpha Male squad he stated that he was literally just given a room full of race cars and told to do some fine tuning adjustments. The muscle car or GT40 of the group is Chad Mendes stated by everyone in the gym as the hardest hitting and the most athletic in the group, couple that with the ability to apply a building like pressure on your chest while holding you down. Lets not forget that why Chad is a threat isn’t just standing up with Conor its that NCAA All American wrestling ability, he can take you down at will the only person to not get taken down by him was Aldo. He has proven that he has incredible takedown defense while Conor hasn’t shown that ability and doesn’t have the credentials on the ground, it changes how he will attack Mendes standing up.
Chad is giving up a lot of height but lets be honest he always is but that didn’t stop him from flat lining the WILD MAN Clay Guida did it who was a solid 155 pounder the night of the fight so that being said, Chad is the hardest hitter in the division but he has to get to Conor to land which hasn’t been a problem in the past but with the weird angles Conor cuts it could be an issue especially when Chad isn’t that huge a threat with kicks other than leg kicks we haven’t really seen head kicks or any threat above the waist coming from Chad besides his hands. The idea that Chad won’t be ready is kind of absurd to me, he trains at Alpha Male with murders, the biggest underdog champion in recent UFC memory is his training partner in TJ Dillashaw who is also the best striker at 135, his grappling is top flight because it seems like everyone in the gym was a ncaa All American at some point. Couple that with the mad scientist Duane “Bang” Ludwig upgraded his striking diversity and skill level in the Bang Muay Thai system there is no way you can tell me that on the feet skill wise Conor isn’t in trouble. Plus he’s never out of shape he keeps his body at a 70 percent of max all year long so this next week will just be peaking for the fight and sharpening his tools and believe you me those tools are dangerous .
The best comparison you can make for Chad is by combining two Champions in my eyes those two would be a Chris Weidman power ration and grappling ability with TJ Dillashaw’s footwork and tansity, he can end the night fast and he can dance around you and but you on your back and keep you there until he think your free in which case he grabs that neck and guillotines you in what has come to be the Alpha Male calling card. I have stated before that in my opinion a fight with Chad Mendes or Frankie Edgar was a worse match up and a scary fight for Conor McGregor because of the wrestling and Dominick Cruz like footwork that these guys have. Add to the mix you pissed Chad off during his fight with Aldo that might have been a bad idea. A motivated Mendes who already was motivated by the belt at 145, that you talked down at about his abilities and may have ducked him because you were a little scared of the guerrilla strong and Money Mayweather fast fighter ranked ahead of you, hmmm yeah karma might have come back to bite our clever friend Conor squarely on the arse. even A Brendan Big Brown Schaub has stated when asked about Mendes or Frankie fighting Conor “ whoa whoa whoa what do you want him to lose no uhh what are we doing”. Plain and simple its a bad match up because it’s been proven in the past until you show us you wrestling abilities you won’t be ready for a title shot because there’s a killer in the division that is a dominant grappler and striker Demetrius Johnson, TJ Dillashaw, Jon Jones, DC, Ronda Rousey, Joannas take down defense, RDA, Wiedman, Werdum what do they all do really well … grapple kids it separates the top level and champions.
So what does Conor do to beat Chad Mendes. Its really simple either Conor uses some high level wrestling ability we haven’t seen or heard about him having on a standout NCAA wrestling All American, or he fights this match mirroring what Jon Jones did against well everyone. What Conor needs to do in my opinion is use that length to exhaustion, pop Chad to keep him honest and stay at least 2 strides out of reach of a take down. Also with the urgency that he dodged Cat Zingano’s hat during her walk, he needs use that to avoid getting clinched up against the cage with Chad. Chad may be shorter but he is so much stronger it will demoralize many men. That being said Conor needs to play the Jon Jones game keep Chad at bay and when he relaxes in that moment strike with devastating power and speed getting out as quickly as you got in. Don’t leave that lead leg out either, a big point in my Aldo break down was that Aldo has been training with a Conor copy who has better kicks well something Aldo has been known for was his lead leg kicks. Against a wrestler like Chad having that wide base that Conor likes just isn’t good we’ve seen the best go wide and end up on the back in full or half guard i.e Silva Sonnen 1 and the first round of the second fight.
Make Chad think while he’s fighting, I’m not saying Chad is dumb or anything like that I’m saying make him second guess what he will do. Looking at the drilling Chad does a lot of his movements are instinctive he’s done his 10,000 reps of mastery for everything so if you shut something he does all the time off, like a boxer does to his opponent’s jab then you can make him start to really second guess his shots and in the haze strike and buckle him. This could be a problem for Conor Aldo stylistically was going to basically be K-1 with MMA gloves on now he’s really in a MMA match with the biggest threat standing and on the ground he’s ever had. How Conor reacts will only be seen in the cage and many think that his confidence in his abilities isn’t just hype but battle tested and earned, and he will once again show why e got the title shot in the first place. At least I get what I wanted for my birthday finally but still damn it. First it was Yoels post fight speech , then those weird blandish looking uniforms Reebok made ( there’s a reason the NFL dropped them and hooked up with Nike folks) , and top it all off the biggest grudge match in a while since Sonnen Silva 2 has been ruined. What can you do you got lemons make some good lemonade I guess.
-Posse Out, Stay Chill Folks and Family