Featherweight contender Conor McGregor watched the UFC 179 main event between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes sitting cageside. He found the back-and-forth title fight entertaining, but thinks there’s a difference between himself and what he saw at the Ginasio do Maracanazinho in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday.
“It was a phenomenal contest. I showed my respect for both competitors. They put it all on the line. They slugged it out, that Thai style; you hit me, I hit you, we stand and we trade. It was beautiful to watch the fight,” said the Irishman on the UFC 179 Post Show.
McGregor faces Dennis Siver on Jan. 18 and believes he’s next in line for a title shot if he emerges victorious. Assessing Aldo’s performance, McGregor saw things that he feels play right into his hands should he get past Siver in Boston.
“I believe he can be hit, but he showed his heart. He showed his will. He showed his frustration as well at times. He was looking toward the ref and things of that nature. I believe he got frustrated, but it was a great contest,” said the 26-year-old. “I have nothing but respect for anyone that gets in there and lays it on the line. (But) I feel if I connect, it will end. That is the difference between myself and these people.”
“You can’t stand flat-footed. You can’t stand in front of me like he did there,” added McGregor. “You can’t stand there. One or two clean shots from me and it is all over. I don’t need to hit you clean. It just needs to be anywhere. I definitely saw holes in the game. My confidence is sky high looking at the contest.”