McGregor Impresses, But Make No Mistake, Mendes Was No Aldo

Swinging Johnson

Monday, July 13, 2015 2:50 PM GMT

Conor McGregor would prefer to erase the word interim from his title and become the undisputed UFC Featherweight king. Let’s review the impending matchup and the UFC odds when the 145 pound champs faceoff.

Conor McGregor Predicts Finish of Mendes
Though the UFC has gone to great lengths to distance themselves from any perception they are akin to the WWE, it is worth noting that Conor McGregor’s over the top antics and bombast conjure images of The Rock, Hulk Hogan and even Brock Lesnar in his WWE incarnation. And it is for that very reason why McGregor is the hottest UFC talent in the organization. A week before his fight with Chad Mendes Dana White stated on the Jim Rome Show that McGregor wanted to bet him $3 million he would knock out Mendes and the mad Irishman even predicted it would come in the second round. McGregor proved to be prophetic as he TKO’ed Mendes with only seconds remaining in Round 2. Now that’s entertainment!

The fight went as scripted and I even said as much but it could have turned out differently if McGregor was unable to get back on his feet after getting mounted by Mendes. Had McGregor been unable to do so it would have been five rounds of lay and pray boredom which would have tarnished his burgeoning legacy and left everyone who shelled out thousands of dollars at the live gate plus millions of PPV buyers unhappy to say the least.

But if you believed McGregor to be a one-trick pony you were disabused of that notion early on as McGregor unleashed several spinning back kicks that found their mark to Mendes’s midsection. Those body shots took the starch right out of Money and he realized it was futile to try to bang with the much bigger McGregor which was when he employed his lethal ground attack. Nevertheless, McGregor had been training tirelessly for that scenario and managed to get back to his feet while beating Mendes to every punch and stalking him like a predator around the cage. Ultimately the end came at 4:57 of the second round when referee Herb Dean waved off the swarming McGregor as Mendes turtled along the Octagon.

 

Can Aldo Do Better?
I believed Mendes posed a much more serious threat to McGregor than Aldo and was not surprised that Money was able to do damage from the ground. He wanted no part of the Dublin Destroyer standing up and was simply out of gas by the time he unsuccessfully tried for his last takedown before being finished by a barrage of McGregor’s bombs. The question becomes what will Jose Aldo do better than Mendes? He certainly doesn’t own a ground game comparable to Mendes and will also be at a height and reach disadvantage though not quite as significant as the slightly smaller Money Mendes.

Therefore what does Aldo bring to the table that will allow him to do what Mendes was unable to do? For starters – and finishers – he has a devastating brand of thunderous leg kicks that can debilitate an opponent particularly when they find their mark on the lead leg of the man in front of him. If Aldo is able to consistently reach McGregor’s front leg and avoid the destruction that will be wrought in doing so he may render The Notorious One inoperative. If McGregor cannot kick and plant his lead leg when throwing a punch then it could be lights out for the mad Irishman.

 

UFC Odds
If you are inclined to bet McGregor then I would suggest you do it early. Certainly the UFC odds makers are aware of a conspicuous betting trend that sees plenty of early steam on McGregor  which means they are more than likely to get out in front of this one by making the UFC Interim champ a sizeable favorite. Yet even with that it may not stem the wave of money pouring in on McGregor as he has consistently battered his opponents into submission and has now proven he can weather a sublime ground attack with the recent finish of Mendes.

Conor McGregor went from a +145 underdog to a -150 betting favorite at Bovada before the fight was scratched due to Aldo’s injury. When Aldo heals and this fight is announced don’t be surprised if McGregor soars to -200. And while getting a fighter of Aldo’s elite caliber at +150 or better looks like value just remember the old adage that states, there is no value in losing. Bet McGregor in your UFC picks.