Chad Mendes is getting his shot at Conor McGregor at UFC 189 after Jose Aldo bowed out with a rib injury, and he says the bout is already personal. Mendes and McGregor took jabs at each other on a UFC conference call hyping the new bout, with Mendes stating that a McGregor comment before his own fight with Jose Aldo is the thing that set him off. Here's how he described it (transcribed by MMA Fighting):
"I mean, the short sh*t, I don’t give a sh*t about that kind of stuff, I’ve been short my whole life. But, for me it was we had to do an interview right before my Aldo fight and he was talking about putting balls on my head and just being very unprofessional. This is something that, that made it personal. And for me, you don’t f**king do that. This is the fight game, where somebody could get seriously injured, and that’s what I’m looking to do when I get in there against Conor McGregor."
He also made a bold statement - that he would finish McGregor inside of three rounds:
"Yeah, Conor I’m going to give you a little more respect buddy," he said. "I’m going to finish you within the first three."
Mendes also believes that his striking matches up well with McGregor's, and that his combination of talents will lead him to victory:
"I think my striking is going to be great," he said. "Conor’s never faced anybody like me before. I have the athleticism, the strength, the power, the speed, and I have wrestling to put him on his back to finish this fight. This fight is mine."
The two men will throw down for the interim featherweight title in the main event of UFC 189 on July 11th in Vegas.