For some, Conor McGregor’s crushing KO win over Jose Aldo proved that he is one of the greatest, pound-for-pound fighters on the planet (he is ranked #3 in the UFC’s P4P division after all). For others, however, like Chad Mendes, the jury is still out.
McGregor has done nothing but impress since he arrived in UFC. After all, this is a man who has gone 7-0 in the Octagon, and has defeated the greatest 145’er of all time in Aldo, the rising Max Holloway and the perennial contender Mendes. But, in his bout with the latter, “Money” did take McGregor to the ground on several occasions and was largely able to control that position.
Further, we haven’t seen McGregor battle it out in a five round war, against the best of the best. Aldo, as we know, did this several times. Thus, this is why Mendes recently relayed this while appearing on Chael Sonnen’s podcast (quote via MMA Mania)
“These gloves are tiny and anything can happen at any time. You just never know. I mean, when you see a guy go five rounds with somebody you can see their full arsenal; you can see their gas tank; you can see their mental state in those championship rounds. Then you can really figure out who’s tough and who’s not. I’m curious to see it, too.”
It’s a fair point. Sure, if McGregor keeps bombing out opponents and never makes it into the championship rounds, then there will be no denying his greatness. But what Mendes and many others want to see, is how McGregor performs against someone with top notch takedowns in round four, or against someone with a brutalizing top game in round five. Will he able to negate this? Or battle through it?
Of course, this is why the masses should be so excited to see McGregor battle Rafael dos Anjos on March 5th. How will he do if RDA takes him to the mat 20 minutes in? Can the lightweight champ last that long so we can find out? It’s a fascinating fight that can’t get here soon enough.