(Esther Lin/MMAFighting)UFC 189: Keys to Victory for Chad Mendes Jeremy Klump July 9, 2015 Events, News, Previews, Spotlight UFC 189 was supposed to be the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor. An injury forced Jose Aldo out of the fight and in comes number one contender Chad Mendes. The fight was announced and it was also announced that it would be for the interim featherweight title. All of the hype was for the fight between Aldo and McGregor because of the bad blood between the two fighters. Whether it was McGregor running out of the cage to confront Aldo, the arguments at the press conferences, or even tweets from McGregor about Aldo’s injury; fans were ready to see Aldo and McGregor go at it on Saturday. Some fans may have been upset about Aldo pulling out of the fight, but it is the reality now and they should start to get excited about Mendes vs. McGregor. McGregor said on ESPN, “I am going to demolish him [Chad Mendes], I am going to rip his head off.” That is McGregor’s game outside of the octagon, but he has brought it inside it too. He is 5-0 in the UFC and will be looking to win the interim belt. Many think even more that he wants to win so that he can be scheduled to fight Aldo again to show he is the true champion. Mendes is not an easy opponent and he is actually the farthest thing from it. McGregor has two losses in his career and they are to Joseph Duffy and Artemij Sitenkov. Mendes also has two losses, but his two losses are both to current champion and number one ranked pound for pound fighter in the world: Jose Aldo. Regardless, if it is Aldo vs. McGregor or Mendes vs. McGregor, it is going to be a good fight. Mendes has lost two fights to Aldo and they were both for the belt. Now he has a chance to win the interim belt, but his opponent is McGregor. Mendes has all the tools to be a champion and this will be a huge step for him and his career. Here are the keys to victory for Mendes: Close The Distance Early McGregor stands at 5’9” and has a 74” reach. Mendes stands at 5’6” and has a 66” reach. McGregor has a big reach advantage and he uses it well. Mendes needs to make sure that he can close the distance early so McGregor does not pick him apart on the feet. Use His Wrestling Mendes nickname is Money and his wrestling is just that: money. With Mendes closing the distance he will be able to use his wrestling easier. Mendes wrestling may be the biggest key to his victory on Saturday. His wrestling will be the perfect answer to McGregor’s striking. Weather The Storm So, honestly, has there ever been this much hype leading up to a fight [Aldo vs. McGregor]? Then Aldo gets hurt and in slides Mendes with a chance to win the interim belt. The hype is still very real because McGregor brings it with him where he goes. Mendes needs to go into the fight and tune out whatever antics McGregor brings because that will help him secure a win on Saturday night.