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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019

'The thought of bringing a UFC belt back to Dublin gives me goosebumps'

The Irish featherweight is one win away from an interim title.

UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
UFC superstar Conor McGregor.
Image: AP Photo/Gregory Payan

CONOR McGREGOR WILL return to Ireland after Saturday’s bout in Las Vegas and if all goes according to plan, there’ll be a UFC belt in his luggage.

McGregor takes on Chad Mendes in the main event at UFC 189 this weekend. At stake is the interim UFC featherweight title.

The 26-year-old Dubliner hasn’t been home for a few months, but he told reporters at last night’s UFC 189 open workouts that although there are no plans for an official homecoming, he’s excited about the prospect of being back on Irish soil.

McGregor said: “I haven’t anything planned yet but make no mistake about it: I am going to head straight back to my country and raise that belt.

“It’s going to be a proud day for my nation, my team and everyone who has been supporting me. It’s something that’s giving me goosebumps right now just thinking about it. I look forward to that moment.”

In spite of his opponent’s elite wrestling credentials, McGregor insists he’ll have nothing to worry about when he takes on Mendes at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday. According to the SBG star, the fight won’t last longer than five minutes.

“I don’t think he [Mendes] is the superior wrestler,” said McGregor. “I’ve been trained by my Moldovan coaches for a long, long time and my coach John [Kavanagh] is a phenomenal grappler. I feel in the grappling exchanges I’ll have the advantage. I’m smoother in the grappling exchanges. We will go out and shut him down.

“I will KO him. Too much power. Too much precision. One round will be enough.”

Originally published at 09.30

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Paul Dollery

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