Prior to his first title fight, Conor McGregor suffered an injury to his knee. The injury forced him to spend most of his training camp working on stand-up fighting techniques while avoiding heavy wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu work.
Since he was slated to fight the champion, Jose Aldo, a fighter with a similar style, McGregor’s fight team was not overly concerned about the injury. They were actually very confident that McGregor’s superior stand-up skills would prevail.
Just days before the fight, Aldo suffered a rib injury that forced him out. The last minute substitution was Chad Mendes, an All-American wrestler with tons of experience in the NCAA Division 1; the best wrestling environment in the world.
The circumstances were drastically altered and suddenly McGregor’s hurt knee and training camp experience seemed like a liability. Many would consider the change an unfortunate event for McGregor, who was a relatively new professional fighter at the time.